How Google is using targeted advertising to stop ISIS recruits

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To deter potential ISIS recruits, Google is trying a new strategy. Jigsaw, Google's technology incubator, has figured out words and phrases that people associated with ISIS often search for. The aim isn't to track or identify them, but to change their minds; Jigsaw will seed the search results with ads that link to YouTube channels filled with anti-ISIS videos.

"The Redirect Method is at its heart a targeted advertising campaign: Let's take these individuals who are vulnerable to ISIS' recruitment messaging and instead show them information that refutes it," Yasmin Green, Jigsaw's head of research and development, told Wired.

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What's left behind in Islamic State abandoned strongholds
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What's left behind in Islamic State abandoned strongholds
Blindfolds are pictured inside a prison, which according to Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters belonged to Islamic State militants, in Manbij, Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said
A view shows part of a media centre that belonged to Islamic State militants inside an ancient Hammam in Manbij, Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 16, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said
Explosives left behind by Islamic State militants are seen at a school, following clashes in Falluja, Iraq, June 25, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
Burnt out prison cells belonging to Islamic State militants are seen in Falluja after government forces recaptured the city from Islamic State militants, Iraq, June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An Islamic State flag hangs on the wall of an abandoned building in Tel Hamis in Hasaka countryside after the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) took control of the area March 1, 2015. Kurdish forces dealt a blow to Islamic State by capturing Tel Hamis, an important town, on Friday in the latest stage of a powerful offensive in northeast Syria, a Kurdish militia spokesman said. The capture of Tel Hamis was announced by the Kurdish YPG militia and confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the country's civil war. REUTERS/Rodi Said (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT)
A book belonging to Islamic State militants is seen in Falluja after government forces recaptured the city from Islamic State militants, Iraq, June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
A view shows containers, which according to Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters were used for making explosives by Islamic State militants, in Manbij, Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said
Handcuffs are pictured inside a prison, which according to Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters belonged to Islamic State militants, in Manbij, Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said
Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters inspect bags of niqabs at a centre that was used by Islamic State religious police (al-Hisbah) in Manbij, Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 16, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said
Tripods and a projector are pictured inside an ancient Hammam that was used by Islamic State militants as a media centre in Manbij, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 16, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said
A view shows car parts, which according to Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters were used by Islamic State militants to prepare car bombs, at a workshop in Manbij, Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said
A factory abandoned by Islamic State militants is seen in Falluja, Iraq, June 25, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
A billboard (L) with Koranic verses is seen in the historic city of Palmyra, in Homs Governorate, Syria April 1, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki SEARCH "PALMYRA SANADIKI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Rocket-propelled grenades left behind by Islamic State militants are seen at a school, following clashes in Falluja, Iraq, June 25, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
A Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter inspects a room, which according to the SDF was used by Islamic State militants to prepare explosives, in Manbij, Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said
A tunnel used by Islamic State militants is seen in the town of Sinjar, Iraq December 1, 2015. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
A member of the Iraqi counterterrorism forces stands by an Islamic State militants weapons factory in Falluja, Iraq, June 23, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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The channels are populated with preexisting videos, such as testimonials from former extremists, or shots of long food lines in ISIS-controlled Raqqa, Syria. In a pilot project earlier this year, more than 300,000 people clicked over to Jigsaw's YouTube channels over about two months.

This month, the program will move into its next phase to target both ISIS recruits and white supremacists.


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