YouTube plans to increase the number of people policing its platform for extremist content to 10,000 next year as part of a broader effort to prevent videos that may violate its policies from appearing or staying on the video sharing website. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced the new initiative in a blog post published on Monday, adding that the company also seeks to expand its partnerships with academic institutions, industry alliances and subject matter experts who will assist YouTube’s review team in tackling emerging issues.
Wojcicki said YouTube’s reviewers play a crucial role in training machine learning technologies using contextualized decisions, noting how its trust and safety groups have conducted reviews of about two million videos for potential extremist propaganda and removed more than 150,000 clips for violating YouTube’s policies since June. Those reviews have helped train its machine learning systems to flag extremist content going forward. In fact, Wojcicki noted that YouTube’s machine learning algorithms have helped flag 98 percent of the videos uploaded to the site for violent content and remove 70 percent of extremist videos from the platform in just eight hours from being uploaded, with plans to speed up the process in the future being in the works. In addition to removing extremist content, YouTube also started redirecting users from violent content since July, bringing them to videos that instead offer counterarguments to terrorist propaganda.
Seeing how its machine learning process produced positive results, YouTube said its growing team of content reviewers will continue to train the system in order to address other issues such as child safety and hate speech. And as people want a more transparent view of how YouTube responds to issues with content, the company announced that it will release reports on a regular basis beginning next year to provide clearer information about the flags it receives and the actions the service takes to remove policy-violating videos and comments. In terms of ad revenue, YouTube is also expanding its team of ad reviewers to perform manual curation in order to implement stricter rules on how ads are placed on the site, seeing to it that they run only on appropriate channels and videos. Wojcicki said this new approach to advertising on YouTube aims to protect both advertisers and creators from irrelevant content.