YouTube Ups Battle Against Extremism Video

Google's Jigsaw technology effort aims to thwart extremist content

From now onward, whenever a potential ISIS recruit searches for extremist content using a predefined set of keywords, they will be redirected to videos that confront the terrorist group.

Jigsaw, an incubator within Alphabet that works on creating technology to battle online security threats, partnered with Moonshot CVE to find new ways to counter violent extremism.

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. As the company announced in a blog post, "W$3 hen people search for certain keywords on YouTube, we will display a playlist of videos debunking violent extremist recruiting narratives".

In the past, YouTube has taken a reactive approach to content that violates its terms of service: After human users or the site's algorithm flag offending videos, YouTube deletes the videos and blocks the accounts responsible. This plus the other programs that YouTube is using behind the scenes will hopefully help identify and remove extremist videos on the platform.

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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.

Terrorist groups have long used YouTube to post extremist videos aimed at radicalizing and recruiting potential targets. YouTube will also work in collaboration with non-governmental organizations to develop new content created to handle violent extremist messaging "at different parts of the radicalization funnel".

The Redirect Project was developed by the search titan to develop software based on YouTube's advertising tools. "As we develop this model of the Redirect Method on YouTube, we'll measure success by how much this content is engaged". Now YouTube is trying its hand at dispelling extremist and terrorist views on its own platform.

Among other things, YouTube will collaborate with expert NGOs to develop video content created to counter "violent extremist messaging at different parts of the radicalisation funnel" over the coming weeks.

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