×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube Starts Redirecting Searches for Terrorist Content to Anti-Hate Videos

YouTube, launching a new way to fight the spread of terrorist propaganda, said it has begun rolling out a feature that will redirect searches for specific terrorism-related keywords to a playlist of videos “debunking violent extremist recruiting narratives.”

YouTube is starting the new anti-terrorism feature with a small number of query terms; a rep declined to reveal what those search terms are, or what the anti-terrorism videos are.

For YouTube, the move is part of protecting its bottom line. 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. Google has cracked down on ads being served in offensive videos, and outlined several other steps it’s taking to counter terrorist and extremist content. 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 YouTube feature uses the Redirect Method developed by Jigsaw, a think tank and incubator in Alphabet that uses Google products like AdWords and YouTube. Jigsaw collaborated 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. Based on that, Jigsaw created the Redirect Method, which redirects people away from violent extremist propaganda and steers them toward video content that “confronts extremist messages and debunks its mythology.”

YouTube had previously said it was using Jigsaw’s Redirect Method in Europe to use targeted ads to reach potential ISIS recruits, to redirectr them to anti-terrorist videos.

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. In addition, YouTube said it will work with expert nongovernmental organizations to develop new video content designed to counter violent extremist messaging “at different parts of the radicalization funnel.”

“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 an updated to its guidelines for advertiser-friendly content last month, YouTube clarified that videos deemed “hateful” — material already banned under YouTube’s community guidelines — is not eligible for advertising.

Other steps Google says it’s taking to fight terrorist propaganda include: using video-analysis models to ID and remove terrorism-related content; and expanding the number of independent experts in YouTube’s Trusted Flagger program with 50 experts from NGOs in addition to the 63 organizations that are already participating.

In addition, YouTube 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.”

More Digital

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Aims to Top $1 Billion in Revenue in 2019, Beats Holiday Quarter Earnings Expectations

    Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019. The streaming device maker told investors Thursday that it projects to generate between $1 billion and $1.025 billion this year. Roku made this announcement as part of its Q4 earnings release, which showed that it exceeded the market’s expectations for the holiday quarter. The company reported [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • att_logo

    AT&T Suspends YouTube Ad Spending as Boycott Over 'Pedophilia' Videos Scandal Widens

    AT&T, one month after it thought it was safe to advertise on YouTube again, said it is pulling all advertising spending from the world’s biggest video platform. The telco joins a boycott by marketers alarmed by the discovery that a secret group of child predators has been using YouTube to make sexual comments about kids. [...]

  • VR Pop-Up Opens Doors in Manhattan

    Future of Storytelling Pop-Up VR Arcade Is Coming to Manhattan

    Manhattan is getting a location-based virtual reality (VR) pop-up, courtesy of Future of Storytelling: The temporary Story Arcade will open its doors in the Starrett-Lehigh building this coming Saturday, and host a number of VR experiences, including Felix & Paul Studio’s “Traveling While Black,” Fable’s “Wolves in the Walls” and MWM Interactive’s immersive theater VR [...]

  • Amy Winehouse

    Amy Winehouse Hologram Tour Canceled Over 'Challenges and Sensitivities'

    Amy Winehouse will not be “Back to Black” in a holographic live tour after all. The late British singer, who died in 2011, was to be featured in a stage show slated to launch near the end of 2019. But the producer of the show, BASE Hologram, has indefinitely postponed plans for the Winehouse show, [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez Joins TikTok App to Promote NBC's 'World of Dance'

    Jennifer Lopez is the latest celebrity to hop on TikTok, the short-form video app owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance — more proof of the app’s growing traction, and reflective of media companies’ desire to reach its young-skewing base. Lopez had a very specific aim: to get fans excited about “World of Dance,” the NBC [...]

  • HTC Vive Announces Focus Plus VR

    HTC Vive Announces Focus Plus VR Headset With Dual 6DoF Controllers

    HTC Vive revealed its latest standalone virtual reality headset on Thursday. The Vive Focus Plus upgrades the company’s existing headset by incorporating dual six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) controllers, promising users the same freedom as PC VR devices. Adding the second controller will also make it easier for developers to port existing PC VR content, while making it [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content