Google is using ad-engagement to handle extremists using Search instead of attempting to block those types of individuals from using the platform. The method, whether perceived as unconventional or incorrect by some, is an idea proposed to Google by Moonshot CVE Founder Vidhya Ramalingam, as with Google's extensive knowledge on ads and with its advertisements being its primary business, it has the opportunity to target individuals who may be looking to join extremist groups with ads that may be able to change their mind on making such a decision.
This proposition to Google was reportedly made after it sought out Ramalingam asking to begin a conversation on the particular topic and wanting to know how she thinks extremists should be dealt with when they use Google Search. Ramalingam believes that engagement is a better alternative to shutting them out as it gives Google an open window to potentially turn the tide a little with those individuals. On top of Google being able to use ads through its own platform part of the work seems to already be out there and completed for Google, with Ramalingam pointing out that a collection of anti-extremist content already exists thanks to various organizations who have created videos and other types of content.
The idea is to get the ads in front of the right people – essentially anyone who might have a tendency to gravitate towards extremist groups for any number of reasons. Ramalingam's company also comes into play by taking the anti-extremist content that's out there and whenever a search term like "how to join the KKK" comes up, it runs the content as ads against those terms so that people using those search terms will see the ads, ensuring that the people that might benefit the most from seeing them are actually getting eyes on time with the advertisements. How well the method works, or is working, was not mentioned.