The Redirect Method is a new active stance against online extremism.
The new feature, dubbed The Redirect Method, is part of a four-prong strategy announced by Google last month to quash extremist ideologies across its platforms. The Redirect Method was developed by Jigsaw — an Alphabet subsidiary whose mission is to counter extremism, censorship, and cyber attacks — alongside another tech company called Moonshot CVE (which stands for “Countering Violent Extremism”).
Jigsaw and Moonshot CVE developed the tech after studying, over several years, how terrorist factions like ISIS leverage technology to spread their messaging and recruit new followers. In coming weeks, YouTube says it intends to incorporate The Redirect Method into a wider set of search queries in languages beyond English, use machine learning to dynamically update search terms, work with partner NGOs to develop new anti-extremist content, and roll out the Method to Europe.
This new initiative comes, for the most part, as a result of advertiser outrage because their products were regularly being advertised on videos deemed hateful. While we applaud the effort to halt terrorism and appreciate the technology that drives these tools, we also know censorship of any kind can be a very slippery slope.
We expect the people behind the scenes at The Redirect Method know this as well, and will act accordingly.