×
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

  • Michael Uslan's U2K Becomes Asia-Hollywood Formats

    Michael Uslan's U2K Becomes Asia-Hollywood Formats Pipeline (EXCLUSIVE)

    Michael and David Uslan, the father and son producing team with credits that include “The Dark Knight” and “Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch” have struck a cluster of deals that makes them a two-way conduit for TV formats between Hollywood and Asia. U2K, a company that includes the Uslans and Jon Karas (“Believe in [...]

  • Dish Testing Flixpert Content Recommendation Service

    Dish Tests Movie Recommendations App Flixpert (EXCLUSIVE)

    Dish and its corporate sibling EchoStar have quietly been testing a movie recommendations platform called Flixpert, Variety has learned. Flixpert promises to help people find movies to watch through recommendations from friends and trusted contacts; Dish has been testing mobile apps for the service with a few hundred users. Online footprints suggest that Flixpert has [...]

  • Craig Hunegs WB

    Craig Hunegs to Exit Warner Bros. TV Group and Digital Networks (EXCLUSIVE)

    After nearly 25 years in the Warner Bros. family, Craig Hunegs is exiting his post as head of business for Warner Bros. TV Group and president of the studio’s digital networks wing. Hunegs said he has been discussing his exit with Warner Bros. chairman-CEO Kevin Tsujihara for the past several months. At a time of [...]

  • Google Placeholder

    Google Accelerates Google+ Shutdown Following New Privacy Mishap

    Google will shutter its struggling social network Google+ sooner than previously announced: The company said Monday that Google+ will shut down in April of 2019. It also disclosed a new security vulnerability that briefly exposed personal data of some 52.5 million Google+ users. The bug, which was introduced to Google+ in November, allowed developers to [...]

  • Eddie Lazarus Sonos

    Sonos Hires Tribune General Counsel Eddie Lazarus as Chief Legal Officer

    Smart speaker maker Sonos has hired former Tribune exec Eddie Lazarus as its new chief legal officer. Lazarus will be in charge of all legal, regulatory, compliance and SEC reporting issues, among other things. Prior to joining Sonos, Lazarus worked as general counsel and chief strategy officer for Tribune Media. Before that, he was chief of [...]

  • Rhapsody, Sony Music to Launch Spotify

    Rhapsody, Sony Music to Launch Spotify Competitor in Japan

    Rhapsody and Sony Music Entertainment today announced a partnership to launch what they describe as the first on-demand, high-resolution streaming music service in Japan. Rhapsody International is providing its “Powered by Napster” platform including a set of systems, tools and APIs to allow SMEJ to quickly launch and bring its on-demand service to market. The service, [...]

  • Vidcon Sarah Tortoreti

    VidCon Has a New Marketing Chief: Nickelodeon's Sarah Tortoreti

    VidCon tapped Sarah Tortoreti as VP of marketing to head up the digital-creator and video confab’s promotional strategies worldwide. Tortoreti joins VidCon from Viacom’s Nickelodeon, where she was director of marketing and brand strategy since April 2016. In early 2018 Viacom acquired VidCon, founded by veteran YouTube creators Hank Green and John Green. In the newly [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content