Google-owned YouTube already purges large amounts of content for containing what it deems to be “harmful conspiracy theories” and boosts what it says are “authoritative” mainstream media outlets to push what it deems to be the “right information.”
Now, a report that was sponsored by Google’s Jigsaw unit (a unit that “explores threats to open societies, and builds technology that inspires scalable solutions”) has recommended a new approach – infiltrating and subverting online conspiracy groups from within by targeting “moderate members” of these groups in the hope that they “exert influence on the broader community.”
The report was published by the research organization RAND which “develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure.”
RAND receives funding from Google and several US government departments including the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
This specific report, “Detecting Conspiracy Theories on Social Media: Improving Machine Learning to Detect and Understand Online Conspiracy Theories,” was sponsored by Google’s Jigsaw unit and was conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy (ISDP) Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD) which conducts research and analysis for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the US Intelligence Community, US State Department, allied foreign governments, and foundations.