The Redirect Method

The Redirect Method

The Redirect Method is an open-source methodology that uses targeted advertising to connect people searching online for harmful content with constructive alternative messages. Piloted by Jigsaw and Moonshot in 2016 and subsequently deployed internationally by Moonshot in partnership with tech companies, governments and grassroots organizations, it uses pre-existing content made by communities across the globe, including content not created for the explicit purpose of countering harm, to challenge narratives which support violent extremism, violent misogyny, disinformation and other online harms.

Just as other companies use ads on social media and search engines to sell material products to an audience defined by, in whole or in part, the keywords they are searching for, the Redirect Method places ads in the search results and social media feeds of users who are searching for pre-identified terms that we have associated with a particular online harm.

The Redirect Method can be extensively tailored to platform requirements and campaign goals, but at its core are three fundamental components: the indicators of risk (e.g. keywords); the adverts triggered by the indicators; and the content to which users are redirected to by the advertisements.

Our methodology recognizes that content not created for the purpose of counter-messaging has the capacity to undermine harmful narratives when curated, organized and targeted effectively. This approach also mitigates the risk of low retention rates experienced by bait-and-switch advertising, in which individuals are presented with content that differs significantly from that which they were searching for. Instead, the Redirect Method shows those users content which responds to and counters socially harmful narratives, arguments and beliefs espoused by the content for which they were originally searching.

To date, the Redirect Method has been deployed in partnership with tech companies, governments and grassroots organizations all over the world, in multiple languages and designed to counter a wide range of online harms. If you would like to see examples of the Redirect Method in practice, our resources page is full of examples. If you have specific questions about how it works, please review this document and contact us at this address. We’d love to hear from you.