YouTube CEO promises to boost efforts to tackle 'abuse of our platform'

YouTube CEO promises to boost efforts to tackle 'abuse of our platform'

Fresh from a difficult few weeks of headlines about un-child-friendly content and comments on its service, YouTube is promising to make more changes to tackle the issue.

CEO Susan Wojcicki published a blog post outlining some of the plans, as Google's video services seeks to win back the trust of parents, not to mention the advertising spend of some of the brands who've suspended their campaigns on YouTube.

"I’ve seen how some bad actors are exploiting our openness to mislead, manipulate, harass or even harm," wrote Wojcicki, who said that the success YouTube has had battling violent and extremist-political content on its platform will now be used to tackle other areas.

Step one will be hiring more humans to moderate on YouTube. "We will continue the significant growth of our teams into next year, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000 in 2018," wrote Wojcicki.

Step two is expanding YouTube's use of machine-learning technology to identify and flag problematic content to its teams of moderators.

"Today, 98 percent of the videos we remove for violent extremism are flagged by our machine-learning algorithms," wrote Wojcicki, adding that nearly 70% of this content is taken down within eight hours of being uploaded, while "nearly half" is removed within two hours.

"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 wrote.

YouTube is also planning to publish a regular report on flagged content and how it has been removed, to boost transparency. Also – influencers take note – YouTube is preparing to tighten up its system for approving channels for monetisation.

"We are planning to apply stricter criteria, conduct more manual curation, while also significantly ramping up our team of ad reviewers to ensure ads are only running where they should," wrote Wojcicki.

"This will also help vetted creators see more stability around their revenue. It’s important we get this right for both advertisers and creators, and over the next few weeks, we’ll be speaking with both to hone this approach."

Contributing Editor

Stuart is a freelance journalist and blogger who's been getting paid to write stuff since 1998. In that time, he's focused on topics ranging from Sega's Dreamcast console to robots. That's what you call versatility. (Or a short attention span.)