Video platform YouTube is working to gather up a special team for the express purpose of flagging potentially controversial videos before they get into the view of the general public, according to a report from Buzzfeed, which will be called the Intelligence Desk. The Intelligence Desk will be a joint effort between YouTube staff, third-party workers, and artificial intelligence; using Google data, social media trend data, and reports from users. Essentially, the objective is to pre-screen all content going onto YouTube in a broad fashion, and keep any content that is potentially controversial or outright uncouth from appearing with advertisements, or in some cases, keep it from getting on the platform at all. The infamous Logan Paul "Suicide Forest" video is the most recent example of such content, along with "Elsagate," a months-long controversy in which some thoroughly strange content featuring popular children's characters, and in some cases actual children, made it onto the platform.
This move seems more poised to catch bad content from otherwise trusted YouTubers, or surprise turns of subject matter from YouTubers who have no history of anything objectionable. The barrier to entry was already raised just a little while ago, when YouTube changed the monetization requirements for a channel to a more strict 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time per month, over the previous 10,000 lifetime video views. Using the examples above for reference, whereas the raising of the bar addressed Elsagate and any similar phenomena that may pop up, this change addresses any other creators which may choose to engage in and upload similar content to that which has caused so much controversy lately.
Media conglomerate GroupM spoke up about the changes, with executive vice president of brand safety John Montgomery saying that YouTube's new stance should significantly stem the flow of controversial content and associated PR crises, and to catch patterns that could lead to such crises before anything comes of them. This new Intelligence Desk is a decidedly high-tech solution to a serious problem on the platform. It sees YouTube throwing Google's considerable AI might at the issue, rather than the glut of manpower that would surely be required to do such work otherwise, and goes to show the power of modern artificial intelligence.