While anybody searching for terrorist propaganda would be redirected, including academics and journalists, YouTube said such content was already against its terms and conditions and was removed when discovered. It seems YouTube has finally had enough and chose to start redirecting people from these extremist videos.
In a blog post, the company stated that the new method will drive "people away from violent extremist propaganda and steer them toward video content that confronts extremist messages and debunks its mythology".
Also, what about when someone searches for such things for legitimate research or journalistic reasons?
Apparently it seems to be working as a pilot program for the Redirect Method led to 320,000 individuals viewing "over half a million minutes of the 116 videos we selected to refute ISIS's recruiting themes".
Over the coming weeks, the company plans to expand the feature to "a wider set of search queries in other languages beyond English".
Google had pledged to take additional steps in curbing extremist content from its platform and identified four additional steps that will be taken on YouTube towards this end.
While it might sound odd that YouTube, one of the biggest and most influential video sharing platforms in the world has not exactly stamped out ISIS recruitment videos yet, this is exactly the case. More than that, it also hopes to implement machine learning to update the search terms. When a person uses certain keywords on YouTube, the site instead will show a playlist of videos that counters "violent extremist recruiting narratives". Arising out of partnerships with nongovernmental organizations, this new feature is part of a larger project called the Redirect Method, an effort specifically targeted at those vulnerable to ISIS's messaging.
YouTube is also collaborating with several NGOs to create video content to counter the message of these extremist videos. Its challenge to block or remove these is similar to problems at Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) which also have tremendous numbers of visits which they can not track one by one.