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YouTube Pulls Down 58 Million Videos & 224 Million Comments After Facing Pressure From Government

| Published on December 15, 2018

After facing constant pressure from the government officials and interest groups in Europe, the United States, and Asia, YouTube pulled down more than 58 million videos and 224 million comments basis policy violations. The platform had been facing these pressures since long, and not just YouTube, other social media platforms including Facebook were asked to identify and remove extremist and hateful content that incites violence.

The European Union proposed levying heavy fines unless the channel removed extremist material within an hour of government orders being issued.

An official at India’s Ministry of Home Affairs said social media firms had agreed to tackle authorities’ requests to remove objectionable content within 36 hours.

Enforcement Efforts

This year, YouTube began issuing quarterly reports about its enforcement efforts. YouTube implemented automated detection tools that help YouTube quickly identify spam, extremist content, and nudity. During September, 90 percent of the nearly 10,400 videos removed for violent extremism or 279,600 videos removed for child safety issues received fewer than 10 views, according to YouTube.

The Challenges

But YouTube faces a bigger challenge with material promoting hateful rhetoric and dangerous behavior. For such videos, the automated detection technologies are relatively less effective and hence the platform relies on users to report or comment about such videos to help them remove it. But this also means that by the time users start reporting or commenting, probably a large number of audiences could have already viewed the videos.

The Action

Google has added thousands of moderators this year, expanding to more than 10,000, in hopes of reviewing user reports faster but the platform has described pre-screening of every video has a very unfeasible task.

YouTube removed about 1.67 million channels and all of the 50.2 million videos that were available from them.

Nearly 80 percent of the channel takedowns were related to spam uploads, about 13 percent concerned nudity and 4.5 percent child safety.

In addition, about 7.8 million videos were removed individually for policy violations, in line with the previous quarter.

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