YouTube Fights Extremism With ‘Redirect Method’

Photo: Anatoliy Babiy / Getty Images

YouTube has announced a new technique to combat extremism and terrorism on its platform.

The new initiative tagged Redirect Method aims to prevent people from finding extremist and terrorism propaganda videos.

When users search for violent extremist content and ISIS recruitment propaganda, it will redirect them to other anti-terrorist videos.

This follows an initiative, announced a month ago by the video-sharing site and parent Google, to combat online extremism content using an array of techniques.

The technique comes from the Jigsaw stables at Alphabet, working in conjunction with Moonshot CVE. 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. From there, they created the Redirect Method, which uses curated video content to redirect people away from violent extremist propaganda and steer them toward video content that confronts extremist messages and debunks its mythology.”

YouTube says the goal is to offer more resources and content that may be able to “change the minds” of people at risk of being radicalized by terrorist organizations.

“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,” Google’s blog post says.
Over the coming weeks, YouTube says it will expand the functionality to include a wider set of search queries in multiple languages, and use machine learning to update query terms. There are also plans to expand the Redirect Method tech in Europe.

During the past months, YouTube has struggled to keep terrorist content from plaguing its site and showing up in connection with advertiser content.

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