Google backs project to link former terrorists to combat extremism | india | Hindustan Times
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Google backs project to link former terrorists to combat extremism

india Updated: Apr 26, 2012 18:56 IST

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Search engine giant Google has backed a new network, which would link up former terrorists and former violent radicals online, in an attempt to extirpate and combat extremism worldwide.

The new network, 'Against Violent Extremism's is touted to collaborate over a thousand reformed Islamic, far-right, far-left and other extremists on counter-radicalisation, the Telegraph reports.

Victims of terrorism will also be participating in the project, including Jo Berry, the daughter of the Conservative MP Anthony Berry, who was killed in the IRA Brighton bombing in 1984.

The hub of the network is a new website, allowing members to exchange ideas on fundraising, policy-making and research. Google is involved via its own think tank, Google Ideas, which is funding AVE for two years.

The web giant has been previously criticised by politicians in Britain and the United States for hosting extremist propaganda on YouTube, its video sharing website, which prompted a major clean-up effort by google last year. Google had reportedly removed 135 videos for "national security" reasons in response to government requests.

However, the idea of this new network was supported by most people.

"On the face of it, this network looks like a good idea," he said. "But Google will need to be careful about being drawn into such a highly-politicised area," Tim Stevens, Centre for Science and Security Studies at King's College London, was reported as saying.

Robert Orell, a former far-right extremist who now runs EXIT Sweden, an organisation countering neo-Nazi ideology, claimed that involvement of a private sector would be helpful.

"If you are trying to counter extremism but you are too close to the Government you are too close to what many extremist groups see as the enemy. Large corporations can be seen as the enemy too, but not to the same extent," he said.