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.


What We Are Reading Today: Debating War and Peace by Jonathan Mermin

Updated 15 October 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Debating War and Peace by Jonathan Mermin

  • Mermin shows that if there is no debate over US policy in Washington, there is no debate in the news
  • The author constructs a new framework for thinking about press-government relations

The First Amendment ideal of an independent press allows American journalists to present critical perspectives on government policies and actions; but are the media independent of government in practice? Here Jonathan Mermin demonstrates that when it comes to military intervention, journalists over the past two decades have let the government itself set the terms and boundaries of foreign policy debate in the news.

Analyzing newspaper and television reporting of US intervention in Grenada and Panama, the bombing of Libya, the Gulf War, and US actions in Somalia and Haiti, he shows that if there is no debate over US policy in Washington, there is no debate in the news. 

Journalists often criticize the execution of US policy, but fail to offer critical analysis of the policy itself if actors inside the government have not challenged it. Mermin ultimately offers concrete evidence of outside-Washington perspectives that could have been reported in specific cases, and explains how the press could increase its independence of Washington in reporting foreign policy news. 

The author constructs a new framework for thinking about press-government relations, based on the observation that bipartisan support for US intervention is often best interpreted as a political phenomenon, not as evidence of the wisdom of US policy. Journalists should remember that domestic political factors often influence foreign policy debate. The media, Mermin argues, should not see a Washington consensus as justification for downplaying critical perspectives.