YouTube bolsters efforts to remove inappropriate content and hate speech

Anne Freier | September 4, 2019

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YouTube appears to have stepped up its efforts to clean up the platform. The company said that it has removed more than 100,000 videos and 17,000 channels for hateful speech during the last quarter, marking a 5x rise over Q1 2019.

It also removed a total of 500 million comments, twice the amount compared to Q1. The increase in comment removals is largely due to the removal of older comments, the company said.

Since 2016, the company has been able to reduced views of videos violating its policies by 80%.

Because the platform is keen to preserve free speech, it has employed a policy development team to review policies and ensure the community is kept safe.

“For particularly complex issues, we may spend several months developing a new policy. During this time we consult outside experts and YouTube creators to understand how our current policy is falling short, and consider regional differences to make sure proposed changes can be applied fairly around the world,” the company wrote in a blog post.

The company’s hate speech updates have presented one such area where content is reviewed on a continuing basis to improve machine learning algorithms.

More than 87% of the nine million videos that were removed during Q2 2019 had been flagged by the company’s automated system.

At the same time, YouTube continues to improve its spam detection system leading to a 50% rise in channels being removed for policy violations.

With the launch of Intelligence Desk – a team that monitors news, social media and user reports – content continues to be monitored for trends and new inappropriate content.

Because of these efforts, YouTube said that views across 30,000 videos flagged and eventually removed for hat speech last month, only had time to accumulate a fraction of views.

If you want to find out more about YouTube’s review process, you can read the company’s latest Community Guidelines Enforcement Report.

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