Google’s Jigsaw Helps Deter ISIS Recruits With the Help of YouTube

Google plans to stop ISIS recruits before they become radicalized, with what else? Information.

For the past year, Google’s Jigsaw has been developing a program that will combine Google’s search advertising algorithms with YouTube’s video platform to target new recruits. Google’s goal is to stop them from joining the Islamic State Group ISIS, or ISIL. They plan on doing this by supplying them with accurate information on the terrorist organization.

Named The Redirect Method, it is basically advertised alongside search results for any keywords and phrases that would result from an ISIS search being done. Ads will link users to both Arabic and English language YouTube channels. On each channel, preexisting videos that Jigsaw thinks will effectively undo ISIS’ propaganda.

Video’s include clips from interview with defectors, imams denouncing ISIS’ corruption of true Islam, and other information that will show the hypocrisy of ISIS. Jigsaw created a list of over 1,700 keywords that trigger ads leading to its anti-ISIS messages.

“This year’s pilot program for the Redirect Method was incredibly effective. Over two months, more than 300,000 people were drawn to the anti-ISIS YouTube channels. Searchers clicked on our ads three or four times more often than a typical ad campaign,” developers stated.

“The Redirect Method doesn’t seek to track those searching for the terms or identify them, and it isn’t designed to lead to arrests or surveillance. These are people making decisions based on partial, bad information. We can affect the problem of foreign fighters joining the Islamic State by arming individuals with more and better information,” Yasmin Green, Head of research and development for Jigsaw said.

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