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UK To Train Pro-West Islamic Groups To Game Google 469

Hugh Pickens writes "The British government's Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT), a 200-strong Home Office unit created 18 months ago, has said in meetings it wants to 'flood the internet' with 'positive' interpretations of Islam and plans to train government-approved groups in search engine optimization techniques, which it is hoped will boost their profile online and battle radicalization. A Home Office spokesman confirmed search engine optimization training is part of the government's anti-radicalization strategy. 'In order to support mainstream voices, we work with local partners to help develop their communication, representational and leadership skills. This support could include media training, which can help make their voices heard more widely, and support the development of skills which allow communities to be more effective in debate.' However the effectiveness of search engine optimization in reducing traffic to extremist websites has been dismissed by academics. A report produced by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) said young Muslims were much more likely to be directed to extremist material online by web forums and offline associates than by Google or other search engines. 'Tweaking the results for supposedly extremist terms would be largely ineffectual, not least because it is unlikely that any but the most callow wannabe terrorist would use a mainstream search engine to find banned material.'"

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