Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

YouTube Hiring Moderators by Thousands to Police Content

YouTube Hiring Moderators by Thousands to Police Content

YouTube will boast more than 10,000 staff whose job is to track down extremist, violent and predatory content on the site, Google has announced.

The video-sharing platform has been criticised in recent weeks for failing to prevent predatory accounts and commenters from targeting children, as well as for the ease at which terrorist propaganda is uploaded to the site.

YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki revealed in a blog post on Monday that Google plans to bring the total number of people working to review content to more than 10,000 in 2018.

The company made a decision to take this step amid criticism over its inability to block violent, extremist, and disturbing videos and comments. Several reports stated that advertisers were not comfortable in placing their ads on YouTube thereafter. According to YouTube, machine learning has helped human moderators remove approximately five times more videos than they had removed previously.

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She said that since June, when Youtube deployed new technology to flag violent extremist content for human review, the platform had manually reviewed almost 2m videos and removed 150,000. Turning off comments in over 625,000 videos targeted by alleged child predators. Some 250 advertisers earlier this year also said they would boycott YouTube because of extremist videos that promoted hate and violence.

She said this in turn was helping to train its machine learning technology to identify similar videos in the future.

In addition to getting 10,000 Google employees' help, YouTube also plans to conjure up stricter criteria to consult when deciding which channels are eligible for advertising.

YouTube says it can take down 70% of extremist content within 8 hours using machine learning.

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Ms Wojcicki moved to reassure video-makers that they won't be adversely affected by any changes, saying: "We've heard loud and clear from creators that we have to be more accurate when it comes to reviewing content, so we don't demonetise videos by mistake".

"Because we have seen these positive results, we have begun training machine-learning technology across other challenging content areas, including child safety and hate speech", she added.

YouTube will also expand its number of reviewers that check to make sure ads run next to appropriate videos.

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