YouTube to Redirect Users Away From Terrorist Content

Jigsaw is an incubator within Alphabet devoted to using technology to fight major global security problems. Moonshot CVE was able to do extensive research into understanding how extremist groups use the internet and technology more broadly to spread their messaging before figuring out what tools would make sense to use on YouTube.

YouTube on Thursday said it hopes the Redirect Method will help "change minds of people at risk of being radicalized". The service was boycotted by hundreds of advertisers earlier this year, after it came to light that their ads were appearing in videos espousing violent extremism and hate rhetoric.

On Thursday, YouTube said it would introduce the Redirect Method, which essentially takes users who are looking for that extreme content and instead directs them toward debunking videos.

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


It will work with experts to develop additional video content for YouTube that will counter extreme message "at different parts of the radicalization funnel".

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. In a long article on the topic, Motherboard writes, "I$3 n order to prevent users from flagging explicit or inflammatory extremist videos, terrorist media groups and disseminators like The Upload Knights and AQ's As-Sahab Media Foundation often label YouTube videos as 'unlisted, ' meaning that the videos can not be searched-only accessed if you are given the link".

As far as the success of the Redirect Method goes, the Google-owned giant will monitor the engagement on these videos to judge how the model is working. And this isn't the only way Google is fighting extremist messaging on YouTube. According to YouTube's blog, this is part of Google's larger initiative to push back against such content that keeps popping up on its video platform.

This announcement comes about a month after Google said it had four new ways to remove terrorism content from the video site, including increasing the use of machine learning to identify those types of extreme videos.


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