A month ago, Google laid out the steps it plans on taking to get rid of extremism and terrorism-related content online, and it's staying true to its word.
The company has just announced a new YouTube initiative that aims to prevent people from finding extremist and terrorism propaganda videos.
YouTube And Redirect Method: How It Works
YouTube officially calls it the Redirect Method, because in a nutshell, when a user searches for certain keywords, it can redirect them to videos that can counter extremists and terrorist propaganda claims.
Redirect Method is a product of Jigsaw's partnership with Moonshot CVE over the years. Both companies studied how extremist and terrorist groups leverage technology to distribute their messages and propaganda. Their research informed the creation of the Redirect Method, and Google has adopted it to prevent people from encountering harmful content on YouTube.
"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," Google's blog post says.
The Redirect Method Will Gain More Features Moving Forward
Implementing the Redirect Method into YouTube is only the beginning. Google still calls it an early release, confirming that more features will be added along the way.
Firstly, Google hopes to build on this new feature over the coming weeks by expanding the library of search terms to include foreign languages. More than that, it also hopes to implement machine learning to update the search terms.
Google also plans to work with NGOs to create content that aims to "counter violent extremist messaging at different parts of the radicalization funnel." Finally, Google also wants to expand the Redirect Method to Europe.
In terms of measuring how successful the Redirect Method is, Google says it will simply observe how much engagement the content receives from people being redirected to it.
It's worth noting that the Redirect Method isn't the only way Google will fight extremist and terrorist propaganda on YouTube. Part of its announcements last month included plans to improve the technology that can identify such content, in addition to adding more human experts in YouTube's trusted flagger program.
Whether these steps will be sufficient to combat extremist and terrorist content on YouTube is the great conundrum, but it certainly feels reassuring that Google is not kidding around when it comes to the spread of extremist and terrorist propaganda on its platforms.