Schmidt's solution for terrorism is building a hate spell check

Google's boss said that both tech companies and governments need to ensure the internet is only being used positively


Google's parent company head Eric Schmidt has revealed in a newspaper column that technology companies and governments are responsible for building "spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment," in a bid to prevent terrorism spreading further around the web.

Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, wrote in the New York Times that although the internet has delivered much openness, where anyone can express their views without the worry or persecution, there are always people who will try and harm others using the tools provided.

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He explained there are risks the internet will become a means for hateful people to destroy communities, empowering the wrong people and the wrong voices, which defeats the aims of creating a fair and safe society.

"We should make it ever easier to see the news from another country's point of view, and understand the global consciousness free from filter or bias," he said.

"We should build tools to help de-escalate tensions on social media sort of like spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment. We should target social accounts for terrorist groups like the Islamic State, and remove videos before they spread, or help those countering terrorist messages to find their voice."

He continued by highlighting the way connected platforms are making it easier for radical groups, particularly in the Middle East to communicate and share extremist views, recruiting new members of the ever-growing terror groups, while Russian "farms of online trolls systematically harass democratic voices."

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However, the challenge to combat these threats and change the internet to become more about building communities rather than destroying morals is within reach if the tech community pulls together.

"Intuition, compassion, creativity - these are the tools that we will use to combat violence and terror online, to drown out the hate with a broadly shared humanity that only the Web makes possible," he said.

"It's up to us to make sure that when a young girl reading this in Indonesia on her tablet moves on from this page, the web that awaits her is a safe and vibrant place, free from coercion and conformity."

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