Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) video operation YouTube is generally considered the largest video destination in the world. With its hundreds of millions of visits and billions of videos viewed each day, it has trouble tracking those posted by extremists. 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 cannot track one by one. YouTube announced it has come up with what is an only a partial solution.
On the Official YouTube Blog,
A month ago, we told you about four new steps we’re taking to combat terrorist content on YouTube. One of our core areas of focus is more work to counter online violent extremism. As a first step we’re now rolling out features from Jigsaw’s Redirect Method on YouTube.
Over the past years, Jigsaw partnered with Moonshot CVE to conduct extensive research to understand how extremist groups leverage technology to spread their message and recruit new members. From there, they created the Redirect Method, which uses curated video content to redirect people away from violent extremist propaganda and steer them toward video content that confronts extremist messages and debunks its mythology. Today, YouTube is rolling out a feature using the model proven by the Redirect Method: when people search for certain keywords on YouTube, we will display a playlist of videos debunking violent extremist recruiting narratives.
It is hard to underestimate how ambitious the goal is based on the number of video segments posted on YouTube every hour. Even YouTube management says that the efforts are in early stages and will take some time to become mature if that is even possible.
Ultimately, removing offending content is like a game of “Whac-A-Mole”. Each time one pops up and gets hit, another jumps up more quickly.