Google chief opens Dublin extremism summit

Tuesday 28 June 2011 12.23
Eric Schmidt - Attending extremism summit in Dublin
Eric Schmidt - Attending extremism summit in Dublin

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has said his company is not trying to effect political change.

Mr Schmidt was speaking to the media at the opening of the Summit Against Violent Extremism (SAVE) in Dublin, organised by Google's new think tank Google Ideas as well as the Council on Foreign Relations and Tribeca Film Festival.

The summit brings together 60 former extremists with survivors of extremist acts, as well as those involved in working to prevent extremism.

Mr Schmidt described Google's role in organising the conference as one of convenor.

Addressing the issue of the use of technology in the recent Arab Spring uprisings, Mr Schmidt said companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter were not the cause of such uprisings, nor should they get credit for them.

They were tools, he said, for people to change society and for enablers of information.

Asked about Google's role and responsibility in preventing extremist views, Mr Schmidt said Google tries not to be a judge of the truth and tries not to filter things.

He said the problem with the internet is that people put up and take down content, and Google indexes it.

But he said the content itself is for the laws of the country where it is published. He said Google takes down very specific death threats and thinks about every transaction it gets involved in.

Director of Google Ideas, Jared Cohen, said the summit had delivered something by getting all the people involved into one room, as people had said this would not be possible.