The new tool is the result of research by Alphabet-owned think tank Jigsaw, which collaborated with anti-extremism organisation Moonshot in order to create the Redirect Method - a means of steering potential terror recruits away from their online recruiters. The service was boycotted by hundreds of advertisers earlier this year, after it came to light that their ads were appearing in videos espousing violent extremism and hate rhetoric. Whenever someone searches for keywords related to extremist content, YouTube will instead show a series of videos running counter to that particular ideology. In a long article on the topic, Motherboard writes, "I$3 n order to prevent users from flagging explicit or inflammatory extremist videos, terrorist media groups and disseminators like The Upload Knights and AQ's As-Sahab Media Foundation often label YouTube videos as 'unlisted, ' meaning that the videos can not be searched-only accessed if you are given the link".
As part of this experiment which kickstarts today if any potential recruit searches for extremist content using a predefined set of keywords, they will be redirected to videos that deconstruct and confront the terrorist group.
Additionally, YouTube will be working with non-governmental organizations to create more videos that combat those created by extremist groups.
After that, Google and YouTube said it was not only developing technology to thwart extremist content, but also adding more human experts to spot troublesome videos.
"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. Google will also be working with Moonshot CVE going forward to help launch the Redirect Method in Europe. This may not be enough to stop terrorists from using YouTube as a recruitment platform, but it's clear Google is taking the problem seriously.
YouTube says that they will measure the success of The Redirect Method by how much it's playlists are engaged.
We will have to wait and see if this method works on YouTube. And this isn't the only way Google is fighting extremist messaging on YouTube.