Sci-tech

YouTube will redirect you away from extremist videos

YouTube will redirect you away from extremist videos

The move will blacklist a glossary of unspecified terror-related keywords, referring individuals using the search terms to a curated playlist of videos created to "debunk violent extremist recruiting narratives". Moonshot CVE was able to do extensive research into understanding how extremist groups use the internet and technology more broadly to spread their messaging before figuring out what tools would make sense to use on YouTube.

After advertisers noticed that their ads were being placed alongside hateful and extremist videos on YouTube, Google promised that it would remove ads from the videos as well as protect viewers from potentially harmful messaging. This redirect method aims to deter such movements to drive "people away from violent extremist propaganda and steer them toward video content that confronts extremist messages and debunks its mythology", the companies say in the post.

Jigsaw is an incubator within Alphabet devoted to using technology to fight major global security problems.

"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", YouTube wrote in its post. When someone searches for extremist content on YouTube, the site will show them a playlist of videos that argue against extremism.

Over the next few weeks, YouTube said is plans to expand the redirect functionality to a wider set of search queries in non-English languages, using machine learning to dynamically update search query terms.

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As the Verge points out, an early pilot of the Redirect Method sent 320,000 people to watch more than 500,000 minutes of ISIS-refuting videos.

As for how Google plans to measure success, it simply says it'll look at how much engagement the content gets from those being redirected to it.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has increasingly called for tech companies like Facebook and Google to do more to combat Islamic extremism in Europe.

Google had pledged to take additional steps in curbing extremist content from its platform and identified four additional steps that will be taken on YouTube towards this end.


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