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YouTube, Meta Will Expand Policies, Research to Fight Online Extremism

Published: September 15, 2022
This illustration picture shows social media applications logos from Linkedin, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia on May 28, 2020. (Image: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Major tech companies said on Thursday they will take fresh steps to combat online extremism by removing more violent content and promoting media literacy with young users, as part of a White House summit on fighting hate-fuelled violence.

Platforms like Alphabet’s YouTube and Meta Platforms’ Facebook have come under fire for years from critics who say the companies have allowed hate speech and violent rhetoric to flourish on their services.

U.S. President Joe Biden earlier on Thursday called on Americans to combat racism and extremism during a summit at the White House that gathered experts and survivors and included bipartisan local leaders.

YouTube said it will expand its policies to fight violent extremism by removing content that glorifies violent acts, even if the creators of the videos are not related to a terrorist organization.

The video streaming site said it will also launch a media literacy campaign to teach younger users how to spot the manipulation tactics that are used to spread misinformation.

Microsoft said it will make a basic and more affordable version of its artificial intelligence and machine learning tools available to schools and smaller organizations in order to help them detect and prevent violence.

Facebook owner Meta announced it will partner with researchers from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ Center on Terrorism, Extremism and Counterterrorism.

Last year, lawmakers grilled the chief executives of Alphabet and Facebook, as well as Twitter Inc, on whether their companies bore some responsibility for the events that led to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

By Reuters (Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; editing by Richard Pullin)