YouTube has found a new way to fight off terrorists’ propaganda thanks to a new feature that will redirect specific searches that feature terrorism related key words into videos debunking “violent extremist recruiting narratives.” For YouTube, this is one of its recent moves to guarantee brand safety. Earlier this year, the video sharing platform was boycotted by several top brands after it was discovered that their video ads were appearing next to terrorist related content and videos that promote hate segregation. Google has already put a stop to ads appearing next to inappropriate video content and taken a few other steps to ensure brand safety. Just last month, YouTube joined with Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter to form a new coalition to make their services, “hostile to terrorists and violent extremists.”
The new redirect feature uses the Redirect Method developed by Jigsaw, a creative centre and incubator in Alphabet that uses Google products like AdWords and YouTube. Jigsaw partnered with Moonshot CVE, an organization that uses tech to combat violent extremism, to conduct research to understand how extremist groups use technology to recruit new members. From this, Jigsaw came up with redirect methods which redirects users away from violent extremist propaganda and instead steers them towards videos that negate extremists messages.
“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.
In addition to this, the video sharing platform will demonetize, disable comments for, make ineligible for recommendations, and add interstitial warnings in front of “videos that do not clearly violate our policies” but contain offensive subject matter such as “inflammatory religious or supremacist content,” Google general counsel Kent Walker said in a June blog post. “We think this strikes the right balance between free expression and access to information without promoting extremely offensive viewpoints.”