YouTube rolls out Redirect Method to combat extremist searches on its platform

The new YouTube feature uses the Redirect Method developed by Jigsaw, a think tank and incubator in Alphabet that uses Google products like AdWords and YouTube. Earlier this year, many advertisers began pulling their business from YouTube after discovering their ads played on videos promoting terrorism and extremist content.

The move will blacklist a glossary of unspecified terror-related keywords, referring individuals using the search terms to a curated playlist of videos created to "debunk violent extremist recruiting narratives". Google explains that the two companies came to together and conducted "research to understand how extremist groups leverage technology to spread their message and recruit new members".

Those searching for terrorist propaganda on YouTube are going to have a pretty hard time finding it.

YouTube is taking a four-pronged approach to this issue that it says will be implemented in the next few weeks.

Extremist groups including ISIS use video on YouTube to recruit and radicalize prospective terrorists.

This is YouTube's latest effort to "help change the minds of people at risk of being radicalized".

YouTube is working closely with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to create additional video content that could possibly influence those most susceptible to an extremist ideology. Lastly, Google will continue working with Moonshot CVE to expand the Redirect Method in Europe (the company hasn't said where exactly it works currently).

On the face of it, the Redirect Method is somewhat crude, but Google says that it will measure its success by how much its alternative content is engaged with.

As the Verge points out, an early pilot of the Redirect Method sent 320,000 people to watch more than 500,000 minutes of ISIS-refuting videos.

Popular sites like Facebook and Twitter are looking for advanced ways to fight bullying and illegal activity, and that goes for top video sharing site YouTube, as well.

Among other things, YouTube will collaborate with expert NGOs to develop video content created to counter "violent extremist messaging at different parts of the radicalisation funnel" over the coming weeks.

  • Essie Rivera