Google is dipping into its coffers to help counter extremism and the recruiting of terrorists online.
The tech titan is sinking $5 million into an innovation fund run by Google.org that will supply grants to researchers and organizations that are creating solutions to the seemingly ever-growing online issue.
“Our efforts to disrupt terrorists’ ability to use the Internet focus on three areas: leveraging technology, conducting and sharing research, and sharing best practices and encouraging affirmative efforts against dangerous radicalization. Today we’re announcing a new effort to build on that third pillar,” said Kent Walker, senior vice-president of Policy, Legal, Trust & Safety, and Google.org.
“Today we’re expanding that effort and launching a $5-million Google.org innovation fund to counter hate and extremism. Over the next two years, this funding will support technology-driven solutions, as well as grassroots efforts like community youth projects that help build communities and promote resistance to radicalization.”
The first grant, which comes in at $1.3 million, will go to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), an expert counter-extremist organization in the U.K. The money will be used by the ISD to help leaders from the U.K.’s technology, academic and charity sectors create solutions that counter extremism.
The project is the largest of its kind, other than those run by government agencies, and “aims to produce innovative, effective and data-driven solutions that can undermine and overcome radicalization propaganda.”
Walker said Google is hoping the grants it doles out will help lessen extremist posts online but also hateful actions offline.
“We don’t have all the answers, but we’re committed to playing our part,” he said.