Last updated: March 5, 2023, 8:35 AM IST
Google released an audit on Friday that examined how its policies and services affected civil rights, and recommended that the tech giant take steps to address misinformation and hate speech, following pressure from lawyers to hold such an assessment.
The company’s disclosure came after the Washington Post reported earlier on Friday that Google tapped an outside law firm to conduct a civil rights assessment. Law firm WilmerHale was commissioned to conduct the assessment.
The review released Friday advised Google, and YouTube in particular, to review its policies on hate speech and harassment to address issues such as deliberate misgendering or deadnaming of individuals and “adapt to changing norms related to protected groups “.
The review also said that to better address misinformation related to elections, the company should ensure that fluent employees are more involved in enforcement actions rather than relying on translation.
Google should also consider developing additional metrics to track the speed and efficiency with which it removes ads about election-related misinformation, including imposing higher penalties and permanent suspensions for repeat offenders, the review said.
“We are committed to continuous improvement, and that includes efforts to strengthen our approach to civil and human rights. To help us, we have conducted and released a voluntary civil rights audit of our policies, practices and products,” Chanelle Hardy, head of civil rights at Google, said in an emailed statement Friday.
In recent years, human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have accused major tech companies such as Google of not prioritizing human rights issues.
“The companies’ surveillance-based business model is inherently incompatible with the right to privacy and threatens a range of other rights, including freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of thought, and the right to equality and non-discrimination,” Amnesty said. International had said in a 2019 report on Google and Facebook.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and was published from a syndicated news agency feed)