Google is escalating its campaign of internet censorship, announcing that it will expand its workforce of human censors to over 10,000, the internet giant announced on December 4. The censors’ primary focus will be videos and other content on YouTube, its video-sharing platform, but will work across Google to censor content and train its automated systems, which remove videos at a rate four times faster than its human employees.
Human censors have already reviewed over 2 million videos since June. YouTube has already removed over 150,000 videos, 50 percent of which were removed within two hours of upload. The company is working to accelerate the rate of takedown through machine-learning from manual censorship, according to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki in an official blog post.
The hiring drive by Google is yet another advance in the campaign against any expression of political opposition. Other social media giants have implemented measures against “fake news”; Facebook has altered its algorithms to reduce the visibility of certain news stories, and Twitter has banned the Russian-funded media outlets RT and Sputnik from advertising on the platform.
While railing against “extremist content,” “child exploitation” and “hoaxes” in the interest of “public safety,” the ultimate goal of this campaign is the suppression of left-wing, anti-war sentiment.
Any censorship on YouTube will undoubtedly have an immense impact on online political discourse. According to a white paper by technology conglomerate Cisco, video will account for 69 percent of all consumer-based internet traffic in 2017; this is expected to rise to 80 percent by 2019.
YouTube essentially operates a…