Search engine algorithm expert and tech giant, Google, is now trying to understand the would-be jihadis’ ways, intentions and change them simultaneously. According to Google, potential ISIS recruits are the most dangerous and must be stopped. Jigsaw, previously called Google Ideas is Google owned think tank and has been developing a program that can target aspiring ISIS recruits. By this program, it is expected that the search results of Google’s search engine and Youtube videos will be presented so as to demoralize and discourage them from joining the violent acts.
Jigsaw calls this program the Redirect Method and will be launched this month. Among the search keywords that are expected to be commonly searched by ISIS attracted people, Jigsaw will place various advertisements that will be YouTube channels and will act as a source that can undo ISIS’s brainwashing. These videos will be testimonials from former fanatics, various announcements of ISIS being declared as the corruption of Islam and various other Arabic channels.
Yasmin Green, Jigsaw‘s research and development head, says, “This came out of an observation that there’s a lot of online demand for ISIS material, but there are also a lot of credible organic voices online debunking their narratives”. Green also explained that Jigsaw is an attempt to present controversial information (about ISIS that is not visible when searched for ISIS itself) to individual that are vulnerable and might be potential violent activists.
In the pilot project that Jigsaw ran this year, the results were quite optimistic and around 300,000 people were hauled to the anti-ISIS channels and spent 4 times more time that normal ad campaigns.
After many ineffectual attempts by Twitter and Facebook to ban profiles that are giving vibes of violent extremists, Google has come up with a different plan. “We thought, what if the content exists already?” says Green. “We knew if it wasn’t created explicitly for this purpose, it would be more authentic and therefore more compelling.”