Google Jigsaw is developing a free tool to help small websites detect and remove extremist content.
Developed with the support of Tech Against Terrorism, the project makes it easier for moderation teams to deal with potentially illegal content. These efforts are also supported by the Global Counterterrorism Internet Forum (founded by Google, Meta, Microsoft and Twitter), which also offers a cross-service database of terrorist targets.
The two sites, not named in the post, will begin testing the tool later in 2023.
Google’s tool is primarily designed to help sites that can’t afford to develop AI-assisted malware detection algorithms or hire a large staff of moderators. The technology could also be useful for complying with the EU’s Digital Services Act and the UK’s Internet Security Bill, both of which would require site operators to take down extremist content or be punished.
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Both Google and Tech Against Terrorism see their project as essential to address gaps in countering terrorist activity online. Extremists and disinformers built on major platforms often move to smaller resources that do not always have the ability to fully monitor content. Ideally, this will reduce the chances of terrorists finding a “safe haven”.
The new tool has limitations: some social platforms are unwilling to moderate content (even if app operators claim it incites violence), so Google’s technology won’t be particularly useful to them. It also won’t stop terrorists from sharing material over highly encrypted messaging services or the Dark Web, where ISPs can’t easily snoop on data traffic.
Earlier, Meta introduced its open source program Hasher-Matcher-Actioner (HMA), which can detect terrorist or other malicious content.
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