YouTube to expand teams reviewing extremist content

YouTube last week updated its recommendation feature to spotlight videos users are likely to find the most gratifying. (Shutterstock)
Updated 05 December 2017
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YouTube to expand teams reviewing extremist content

Alphabet Inc's YouTube said on Monday it plans to add more people next year to review and remove violent or extremist content on the video platform.
YouTube is taking stern actions to protect its users against inappropriate content with stricter policies and larger enforcement teams, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a blog post.
"We are also taking aggressive action on comments, launching new comment moderation tools and in some cases shutting down comments altogether," Wojcicki said.
The goal is to bring the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate its policies to over 10,000 in 2018, she said.
YouTube last week updated its recommendation feature to spotlight videos users are likely to find the most gratifying, brushing aside concerns that such an approach can trap people in bubbles of misinformation and like-minded opinions.
YouTube had been facing a lot of criticism from advertisers and regulators and advocacy groups for failing to police content and account for the way its services shape public opinion.


Vietnam says controversial cybersecurity law aims to protect online rights

Updated 19 July 2018
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Vietnam says controversial cybersecurity law aims to protect online rights

HANOI: Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law is designed to protect online rights and create a “safe and healthy cyberspace,” the foreign ministry said on Thursday, although critics have warned it gives the Communist-ruled state more power to crack down on dissent.
Seventeen US lawmakers wrote to the chief executives of Facebook and Google on Wednesday, urging them to resist changes wrought by the new law that require foreign tech firms to store locally personal data on users in Vietnam and open offices there.
“As in any other country, the activities of foreign businesses and investors should comply with the laws of the host country,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang told Reuters in a comment on Wednesday’s letter.
“The ratification of the cybersecurity law is aimed at creating a safe and healthy cyberspace,” Hang said in a written statement in response to a request for comment.
That would protect the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals online, and ensure national security as well as social order and safety, she added.
Despite sweeping economic reforms and growing openness to social change, Vietnam’s Communist Party tolerates little dissent.
Global technology firms have pushed back against the requirement to store user data locally, but have not taken the same tough stance on the parts of the law that bolster the government’s crackdown on online political activism.
In particular, the new law gives more direct control over online censorship to the Ministry of Public Security, which is tasked with crushing dissent.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hang did not directly address those accusations, as outlined in Wednesday’s letter from US lawmakers, but said freedom of speech was a right enshrined in Vietnamese law.
“The state of Vietnam always respects and facilitates the rights of its citizens to exercise freedom and democracy but is resolutely against the abuse of those rights to commit illegal activities,” Hang added.
Approved by Vietnamese legislators last month, the law takes effect on January 1 next year.