Google to Combat Terrorist Messages with Counter Narrative AdWords

February 22, 2016

Governments are not alone in the fight against terrorism. Google Will Show ‘Counter-Narrative’ AdWords To Users Searching For Terrorist Websites from Tech Week Europe explains how Google is playing a role in containing terrorist messages. In effort to prove their commitment to anti-terrorist initiatives to UK members of parliament, Google will employ a counter narrative strategy using Google AdWords as a marketing channel for their anti-extremist messages. According to the article,

“Users searching for words and websites associated with religious extremism that is linked to terrorism will be shown the ‘counter-narrative’ via Google AdWords, the sponsored links that appear at the top of a search results page. Dr House also told MPs at the Common’s home affairs select committee that Google had removed 14 million videos from YouTube in 2014 for reasons that include terrorist content, according to the Telegraph. Google reportedly offers AdWords grants to NGOs, so that their ‘counter-narrative’ websites can appear on search results for queries such as ‘join Isis’, reported The Telegraph.”

In the article’s concluding remarks, the author raises several questions regarding censorship, freedom of speech and user control; the saying with great power comes great responsibility comes to mind. Developments related to Google’s counter narratives will be important to follow as the bigger-picture conversation unfolds.


Megan Feil, February 22, 2016

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