YouTube combats extremist content
YouTube will collaborate with expert NGOs to develop video content designed to counter violent extremist messaging Getty

In a bid to combat violent extremism online, YouTube has rolled out a feature which redirects anyone searching for extremist content to a playlist of videos which confront extremist messages and debunk the propaganda.

According to YouTube's official blog, the feature comes as part of the Redirect Method, which Alphabet's technology incubator Jigsaw and counter-extremist startup Moonshot CVE created to redirect people away from violent extremism on the internet.

The two companies had conducted extensive research to "understand how extremist groups leverage technology to spread their message and recruit new members" before YouTube actually brought the model into practice.

"The approach harnesses the power of targeted online advertising to reach potential ISIS recruits and redirects them towards anti-terrorist videos that can change their minds about joining," Google noted earlier about the Redirect Method.

While combating extremist content with the new feature, YouTube also plans to upgrade the functionality with a wider set of search queries, which would include not only English but also other languages.

The company would use machine learning to dynamically update the search query terms.

More YouTube content to battle radicalisation

Among other things, YouTube will collaborate with expert NGOs to develop video content designed to counter "violent extremist messaging at different parts of the radicalisation funnel" over the coming weeks.

"This work is made possible by our partnerships with NGOs that are experts in this field, and we will continue to collaborate closely with them to help support their research through our technological tools," the blog read.

"We hope our work together will also help open and broaden a dialogue about other work that can be done to counter radicalisation of potential recruits," it added.

As far as the success of the Redirect Method goes, the Google-owned giant will monitor the engagement on these videos to judge how the model is working.

YouTube plans to collaborate with Jigsaw to expand the Redirect Method to Europe.

The latest move comes as several tech giants continue to draw fierce criticism, particularly in Europe, over terrorists' continued use of their platforms for propaganda, recruitment and communication purposes.

Following the recent terror attacks in the UK, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for new internet regulations to "deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online". May also urged social media companies to remove harmful, terrorist content from their platforms.