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

YouTube will redirect you away from extremist videos

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. That announcement came in part out of a response to an advertiser boycott earlier in the year, one driven by companies frustrated to find their own clips running in front of terrorist videos.

While YouTube's redirect strategy now only works in English, the site will soon bring it to other languages.

"YouTube is rolling out a feature using the model proven by the Redirect Method: when people search for certain keywords on YouTube, we will display a playlist of videos debunking violent extremist recruiting narratives", the company stated.

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

Elderly lady
YouTube combating extremism by redirecting users to videos debunking extremist narratives

YouTube has made good on its promise to crack down on hate speech online by beginning to redirect searches for terrorist propaganda toward anti-hate videos in a bid to halt the potential indoctrination of viewers. Their research informed the creation of the Redirect Method, and Google has adopted it to prevent people from encountering harmful content on YouTube. Unfortunately, many social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have been the conduit through which extremist ideologies such as those espoused by ISIS and others have been allowed to flourish and used as a recruitment tool.

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

The video streaming giant will also develop video content of its own created to counter extremist narratives at every stage of indoctrination. To do this, the company is taking help from Jigsaw, Google's in-house think tank, to identify and target ISIS-related propaganda on YouTube. Google will also be working with Moonshot CVE going forward to help launch the Redirect Method in Europe.

YouTube says that they will measure the success of The Redirect Method by how much it's playlists are engaged. Ultimately, however, YouTube will only ever be able to reduce rather than eliminate extremist content, and other platforms will spring up to take its place as outlets.

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