YouTube will hire thousands more moderators in continued war with extremism

YouTubeYouTube has pledged to have more people reviewing its content next year, as it continues to step up its fight against disturbing, violent, and extremist videos on its platform.

The video sharing platform has said it will bring the total number of people reviewing content to over 10,000 in 2018. Its already existing vast safety team has manually reviewed almost 2m videos since June, helping to train the machine learning technology YouTube also has in place.

The Google-owned platform intends to use this machine learning technology more widely to detect and remove content that is in violation of its guidelines. According to the company, already 98 per cent of the videos it removes for violent extremism are flagged by its machine learning algorithms. The technology is now being trained to pick up on child safety and hate speech.

“As challenges to our platform evolve and change, our enforcement methods must and will evolve to respond to them,” said Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, in a blog post. “But no matter what challenges emerge, our commitment to combat them will be sustained and unwavering.”

YouTube has also promised to be more transparent in 2018. It will create a regular report providing data about content and comments that have been flagged and the actions it has taken to remove them.

Furthermore, in order to ensure a brand safe environment, which YouTube has struggled with heavily in the last 12 or so months, it is taking a stricter approach to advertising. This will mean the introduction of stricter criteria, more manual curation, and the putting more ad reviewers in place. YouTube says this will also help creators see more stability around their revenue.

“We are taking these actions because it’s the right thing to do. Creators make incredible content that builds global fan bases,” said Wojcicki. “Fans come to YouTube to watch, share, and engage with this content. Advertisers, who want to reach those people, fund this creator economy. Each of these groups is essential to YouTube’s creative ecosystem—none can thrive on YouTube without the other—and all three deserve our best efforts.”