YouTube redirecting terror-related searches to anti-hate videos

As part of last month's announcements, it said that it was increasing the technology it uses to identify extremist and terrorism-related videos as well as increasing the number of human experts in YouTube's "trusted flagger" program. The site came under fire recently after major advertisers found their ads running alongside extremist propaganda videos. Collaborating with one of it's own think tank and incubator, Jigsaw, and another organization Moonshot CVE (an organization that uses tech to fight violent extremism), the new experiment seeks to bury ISIS related propaganda on YouTube. Using this data, the Redirect Method will automatically load a playlist of videos that debunk radical views and recruiting narratives when someone searches YouTube using specific terms. Today, YouTube has announced that it will be using the "Redirect Method" created by Jigsaw to not only stop people from watching extremist recruiting material, but to also direct them to videos that debunk these groups...

"We hope our work together will also help open and broaden a dialogue about other work that can be done to counter radicalization of potential recruits", a YouTube blog post says.

Google called this an "early" release of the Redirect Method and said it would continue to add more features going forward.

The company would use machine learning to dynamically update the search query terms. Finally, Google also wants to expand the Redirect Method to Europe.

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While superficially commendable, the Redirect Method does raise the specter of intervention and censorship.

Whether these steps will be sufficient to combat extremist and terrorist content on YouTube is the great conundrum, but it certainly feels reassuring that Google is not kidding around when it comes to the spread of extremist and terrorist propaganda on its platforms.

In terms of measuring how successful the Redirect Method is, Google says it will simply observe how much engagement the content receives from people being redirected to it.

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.

  • Douglas Reid