Google’s search engine is a powerful tool. The amount of knowledge on the Internet is endless and sometimes that’s a bad thing. Individuals motivated in desecrating others that have opposing views can use it to make homemade weapons and spread their ideology to the world.
Exploitation of information is rife in our current age and the misuse of it can have devastating effects. Yes, the Internet is our friend – in most cases – and Google wants to keep it that way.
Hence, when you search keywords that are related to extremism, Google will start showing you anti-radicalisation links.
The initiative is a part of Google’s new pilot program that will directly counter the web presence of radical groups. In conjunction with the link-side of things, searching for extremist videos will also be accompanied by anti-radicalisation videos.
But here’s the thing, Google won’t remove the search queries that related to extremism. They’ll just provide NGOs a platform to counter terrorist group’s efforts.
Of course, it won’t be just to counter terrorist efforts. The program that the search engine has put out is called “Google Adwords Grant”. A place where eligible organisations can put themselves out there for the world to see by harnessing search ads.
This allows NGOs and other parties to use text-based ads that’ll appear on Google search result pages. Users will need to target specific keywords and be billed up to a maximum of US$ 2.00 per click. As it is a grant, Google will hand US$ 10,000 (up to US$ 40,000 for Pro participants) worth of AdWords advertising per month.
Social media has been a place that extremist can use to recruit new supporters, radicalise the masses and fundraise their “religious” campaign. These aren’t the same people who put their bearded leaders in front of a flag shot with some low-quality camera anymore
ISIS/Daesh have now proven their proficiency in engaging people through YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and even internet memes. They’ve modernised and utilised the tools available to them with Google probably being one of those tools.
Our efforts to curb radicalisation of the world (regardless of faith and race) has to be stern. The methods have to come quickly and start in every country. The folks at Silicon Valley need to do the same. As we know, the Internet is everything these days.