YouTube is battling extremism by redirecting terrorism-related search terms

YouTube Rolls Out New Anti Terrorism Feature- The Redirect Method- What Does It Do
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22 July, 2017

Here, there's a small but potentially important detail in its announcement: As it moves ahead, YouTube hopes to collaborate "with expert NGOs on developing new video content created to counter violent extremist messaging at different parts of the radicalization funnel". It was created by the team at Google parent company Alphabet's Jigsaw tech incubator in collaboration with Moonshot CVE, a company that helps clients respond to violent extremism. 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.

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

As promised, Google has unveiled one of the first few steps in its fight to halt the spread of extremist and terrorist propaganda videos on YouTube.

When people search for certain keywords on YouTube that would previously have turned up extremist videos, they'll now see a curated playlist of titles that debunk that ideology.

YouTube has revealed plans to redirect users searching for "violent extremist propaganda" and instead offer them videos that denounce terrorism.

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

YouTube on Thursday said it hopes the Redirect Method will help "change minds of people at risk of being radicalized". YouTube will also be adding other languages and expanding the program into Europe while using machine learning to dynamically update a list of "trigger" keywords that activate the anti-terrorist playlists. Google has cracked down on ads being served in offensive videos, and outlined several other steps it's taking to counter terrorist and extremist content.

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.

Implementing the Redirect Method into YouTube is only the beginning.

Popular sites like Facebook and Twitter are looking for advanced ways to fight bullying and illegal activity, and that goes for top video sharing site YouTube, as well.


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