YouTube Updates Hate Speech Policy, Purges 17,000 Channels

YouTube has updated its hate speech policy amidst the ongoing lawsuit against child-violating contents

-The updated policy has further led to the removal of 111,185 videos, and 17, 8181 channels

YouTube told that its recent crackdown resulted in the purging of its platform, and in line with the updated policy, the streaming network had to remove some of its content, and channels during the course of the second quarter (Q2) of 2019. Although, that has not really proven to be a positive decision, considering that the Google-owned platform was recently fined $170 million for violating Children’s privacy.

In June, the video giant announced that an update will take place on the platform, and it will basically address its hate-speech policy that banned videos “alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.”

In line with the new policy it also explicitly prohibited videos espousing conspiracy theories denying that certain violent events took place.

Just two days ago, 3rd of September, YouTube wrote in a blog post that the policy change led to a fivefold increase in the number of videos removed (111,185) and channels (17,818) in Q2 for hate-speech violations compared with previous typical quarters.

While the purging does not affect videos and channels alone, YouTube also informed that about 538 million comments were removed for violating the hate-speech policy, actually the updated policy.

Despite the removal activity, some, or let’s say a significant number of YouTube channels have still continued in the act, however, it is believed that the platform will also continue to vet each and every channel.

YouTube also informed of how much it is struggling to strike a balance with free expression ever since it updated its hate-speech policy. According to the video giant, the platform’s dedicated policy development team “systematically reviews all of our policies to ensure that they are current, keep our community safe, and do not stifle YouTube’s openness,”

Also, YouTube claims hate speech represents a very small portion of videos published on the platform. According to the site, it pulled down almost 30,000 videos for hate speech over the last five weeks ending August 31st; altogether, those generated “just 3% of the views that knitting videos did over the same time period,” according to YouTube.

Over time, it is believed that Google’s team of 10,000-plus content reviewers will improve as much as its (YouTube’s) machine detection also will improve; this way the platform can do better with respect to the updated policy.

“Machines also can help to flag hate speech and other violative content, but these categories are highly dependent on context and highlight the importance of human review to make nuanced decisions,” YouTube explained in a blog post. According to YouTube, more than 80% of videos automatically detected as violating its policies were removed before they received a single view in Q2 of 2019.

To emphasize how much it is trying to curb the hate-speech activity, YouTube says since the beginning of 2018, it has made 48 updates to enforcement guidelines and policies. Hopefully, with more updates to come, the platform will be a safer place for all. Meanwhile, YouTube has just launched a dedicated website specifically for kids; this is also one of YouTube’s attempt to create a conducive platform for all.

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