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

YouTube will redirect you away from extremist videos

It's called the Redirect Method, and it's just going to get better over time.

YouTube is moving to restore trust in the wake of an advertiser boycott in which some brands froze spend with the platform amid fears they may inadvertently become associated with videos espousing violence, extremism and hate-speech. To end this, the company has come up with a new project called the Redirect Method, which will help diverting people's attention from violent extremist propaganda. Yesterday, the company announced it will work with Jigsaw to use search redirects to steer impressionable people curious about terrorism and violent extremist propaganda to videos that debunk that rhetoric.

This strategy, developed with Jigsaw, an incubator company within Google and YouTube's parent company Alphabet, and London-based anti-extremist tech firm Moonshot CVE, basically sends YouTube requests for certain keywords tied to violent extremism to a playlist of videos "debunking violent extremist recruiting narratives", the companies said in an online post, Thursday.

"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", YouTube said in a blog post Thursday outlining the new feature.

"Working with expert NGOs on developing new video content created to counter violent extremist messaging at different parts of the radicalization funnel". 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.

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

"As we develop this model of the Redirect Method on YouTube, we'll measure success by how much this content is engaged", they wrote.

It's worth noting that the Redirect Method isn't the only way Google will fight extremist and terrorist propaganda on YouTube.

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