Google ‘Developing Free Moderation Tool’ For Smaller Sites


Google subsidiary Jigsaw developing free tool to help smaller websites identify and remove extremist materials, as new content laws take effect

Google research unit Jigsaw is reportedly developing a free moderation tool that can be used by smaller websites to identify and remove extremist content.

The tool, which is designed to be used by human moderators to aid decision-making, is to begin testing with two unnamed sites at the beginning of this year, Jigsaw chief excutive Yasmin Green told the Financial Times.

The move comes as laws come into force in the EU and the UK that impose fines and other penalties on internet firms that fail to remove extremist content.

The EU’s Digital Services Act and the UK’s Online Safety Bill, which is expected to become law this year, are aimed mainly at the biggest tech companies.

Jigsaw chief executive Yasmin Green. Image credit: Yasmin Green google
Jigsaw chief executive Yasmin Green. Image credit: Yasmin Green

Extremist content

But Green said there is also “a tonne” of extremist content on smaller websites, which lack the personnel to police it.

She said the software is being developed with Tech Against Terrorism, a UN-backed initiative.

It matches materials to a database of extremist content from GIFCT, a non-governmental organisation founded by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube in 2017.

Facebook and Instagram owner Meta last month launched a tool that similarly matches illegal content to existing images or videos and highlights them for human review.


Tech Against Terrorism director Adam Hadley said militants “seek to exploit smaller platforms” that lack the resources to moderate content.

Google said last month the Jigsaw unit was launching an anti-misinformation project in India under which it would publish five videos in three languages that could aid users in identifying misinformation.

By contrast, following its purchase by Elon Musk Twitter has reduced its online safety resources, and in November confirmed it was no longer enforcing its Covid-19 misinformation policies.