YouTube to redirect "terror" searches

by Fredrick Graves July 22, 2017, 0:28
YouTube to redirect

YouTube today announced another step in its initiative to end terrorist content on the site: redirecting people away from violent extremist propaganda and pointing them instead in the direction of videos that debunk its mythology.

YouTube officially calls it the Redirect Method, because in a nutshell, when a user searches for certain keywords, it can redirect them to videos that can counter extremists and terrorist propaganda claims.

Jigsaw - Alphabet's security incubator - and counter-extremist startup Moonshot CVE partnered up to create the Redirect Method.

The two companies had conducted extensive research to "understand how extremist groups leverage technology to spread their message and recruit new members" before YouTube actually brought the model into practice.

YouTube on Thursday said it hopes the Redirect Method will help "change minds of people at risk of being radicalized". Earlier this year, many advertisers began pulling their business from YouTube after discovering their ads played on videos promoting terrorism and extremist content.

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Extremist groups including ISIS use video on YouTube to recruit and radicalize prospective terrorists. It's called the Redirect Method, and it's just going to get better over time. The team also plans to use machine learning technology to "dynamically update the search query terms", work with expert NGOs to develop new anti-terrorism video content, and expand this feature to Europe.

It will work with experts to develop additional video content for YouTube that will counter extreme message "at different parts of the radicalization funnel". This comes a month after Google revealed their four-step plan to fight online extremism on the video sharing platform.

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.

All that said, it remains to be seen how effective the redirect method will be.

To combat extremist and terrorism content, the tech giants, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube have created a joint forum to fight against extremist and terrorism propaganda.

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