SOLV­ING THE PROD­UCT PUZ­ZLE

Here’s how Jig­saw ap­proached the prob­lem of on­line ter­ror­ist re­cruit­ment by ISIS to cre­ate Redi­rect Method.

Fast Company - - The Great Ai -

1 Field re­search

Jig­saw team mem­bers trav­eled to hot spots to in­ter­view ISIS de­fec­tors. By in­ves­ti­gat­ing what nar­ra­tives and terms at­tracted sus­cep­ti­ble youth to join the ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion, Jig­saw was able to craft dig­i­tal ad­ver­tis­ing to counter ISIS mes­sag­ing.

2 Part­ner with other ex­perts

Just as Jig­saw has part­nered with The New York Times and Wikipedia on other prod­ucts, for Redi­rect Method it col­lab­o­rated with Moon­shot CVE, a firm that spe­cial­izes in un­der­stand­ing ex­trem­ist pro­pa­ganda.

3 Lever­age Al­pha­bet en­gi­neer­ing

Us­ing Adwords to tar­get po­ten­tial re­cruits via search terms (e.g., “How to join ISIS” or “Fatwa for ji­had in Syria”), Jig­saw redi­rected clicks to videos de­signed to un­der­mine the ISIS caliphate or ques­tion its di­vine au­thor­ity. “We put to­gether thou­sands of key­words we had de­vel­oped with for­mer vi­o­lent ex­trem­ists,” says Yas­min Green, Jig­saw’s head of R&D.

4 Test, test, test

Dur­ing the prod­uct’s eight-week pi­lot, the ads reached more than 320,000 view­ers, who to­gether con­sumed roughly a year’s worth of anti-isis video con­tent.

5 It­er­ate, re­fine, and scale

Cohen’s most re­cent Pak­istan trip, in De­cem­ber 2016, al­lowed him to ex­plore how the pro­gram could be adapted to tar­get atrisk pop­u­la­tions along the Afghanistan– Pak­istan bor­der.

Jig­saw’s Redi­rect Method lever­ages Adwords to point po­ten­tial ISIS re­cruits to videos that chal­lenge ISIS dogma.

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