YouTube employs the Redirect Method to counter searches for violent extremist videos

Posted July 22, 2017

Over the past years, Jigsaw partnered with Moonshot CVE to conduct extensive research to understand how extremist groups leverage technology to spread their message and recruit new members. Under the new technology, when a potential ISIS recruit searches for extremist content, he will be directed to videos that work toward deconstructing terrorist groups.

YouTube is moving to restore trust in the wake of an advertiser boycott in which some brands froze spend with the platform amid fears they may inadvertently become associated with videos espousing violence, extremism and hate-speech.

The Redirect Method uses a very simple technique of displaying safe, carefully curated content when certain keywords are used as search terms. In the coming weeks, YouTube says that it intends to incorporate this Method into wider set of search queries in languages other than English, and dynamically update search terms and work with NGOs and other peace keeping organizations to develop anti-terrorist content and also roll the Method to Europe.

In a blog post, the company stated that the new method will drive "people away from violent extremist propaganda and steer them toward video content that confronts extremist messages and debunks its mythology".

"This early product integration of the Redirect Method on YouTube is our latest effort to provide more resources and more content that can help change minds of people at risk of being radicalized", YouTube wrote in its post.

"Working with expert NGOs on developing new video content created to counter violent extremist messaging 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.

A month ago, we told you about four new steps we're taking to combat terrorist content on YouTube.

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.

Online extremism has plagued online outlets including Google and YouTube.