YouTube aims to filter harmful recommended videos

YouTube will be updating its recommendations system to prevent the spread of unwanted, false and distasteful content, announced the YouTube team in a blog post. The video sharing platform has come under fire in the past for its allowance of conspiracy and misleading videos, such as content posted by Alex Jones, who has since been banned from the website.

“To that end, we’ll begin reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways—such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11,” said the post.

YouTube says the algorithm shift will only affect about one per cent of videos on the site but will still result in “a better experience for the YouTube community”. YouTube made it clear this shift will only affect which videos are recommended to users and will not remove any content from the site.

“As always, people can still access all videos that comply with our Community Guidelines and, when relevant, these videos may appear in recommendations for channel subscribers and in search results. We think this change strikes a balance between maintaining a platform for free speech and living up to our responsibility to users,” said YouTube.

Currently, the algorithm update will only affect recommendations of a very small portion of content in the United States. When the system becomes more accurate and the initial bugs are worked out, the shift will be integrated into other countries as well.

“Its just another step in an ongoing process, but it reflects our commitment and sense of responsibility to improve the recommendations experience on YouTube,” ended the post.