Civil rights audit at Google proposes better tackling of hate speech, misinformation

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) – Google (GOOGL.O) Friday released an audit that examined the impact of its policies and services on civil rights and recommended the tech giant take steps to tackle misinformation and hate speech, following pressure from advocates for organizing such a review.

The company’s disclosure came after The Washington Post reported earlier Friday that Google had hired an outside law firm to conduct a civil rights review. WilmerHale law firm was commissioned to carry out the valuation.

The review published on Friday recommended that Google, especially YouTube, review its hate speech and harassment policies to address issues such as intentional gender errors or dead names of individuals and “adapt to the evolution of norms concerning protected groups”.

The review also said that to better combat election-related misinformation, the company should ensure that language-savvy employees are more involved in enforcement actions instead of relying on translation.

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Google should also consider developing additional measures to track how quickly and effectively it removes ads about election-related misinformation, including imposing higher penalties and permanent suspension for repeat violations, Google added. study.

“We are committed to continuous improvement, and this includes efforts to strengthen our approaches to civil and human rights. To guide us, we have conducted and published a voluntary civil rights audit of our policies, practices and products,” said Chanelle Hardy, civil rights manager at Google, said in an emailed statement Friday.

In recent years, human rights groups like Amnesty International have accused big tech companies like Google of failing to prioritize rights issues.

“The business model based on corporate surveillance is inherently incompatible with the right to privacy and poses a threat to a range of other rights, including freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of thought and the right equality and non-discrimination,” Amnesty International said in a 2019 report on Google and Facebook.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Ismail Shakil; edited by Diane Craft

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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