YouTube speeds up detection of videos with extremist content

It seems that YouTube is becoming faster at detecting and omitting violent videos from its app and site. The company began rolling out anti-terrorism measures in June to detect and remove offensive content. In order to do so, it partnered up with experts to identify such contents and rolled out tougher video policies.

According to the YouTube, 83% of videos containing violent content were removed before they received a human flag in September. That’s an increase of 8 percentage points over the firm’s August update.

In addition, the extremism team manually reviewed more than a million videos to improve flagging technology.

The company also acknowledged that the increased speed and volume of reviewed videos had led to some errors. In a blog post it said:

We know we can get better and we are committed to making sure our teams are taking action on the right content. We are working on ways to educate those who share video meant to document or expose violence on how to add necessary context.

For YouTube, outside advice from experts is vital in ensuring policies and contents are accurately tailored. The company added 35 NGOs to its Trusted Flagger programme (70% of its goal). The partners include the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College London and The Wahid Institute in Indonesia, which is dedicated to promoting religious freedom and tolerance.

Videos which include controversial contents are also facing tougher guidelines. Whilst some of them continue to be publishable on YouTube, they are now flagged with a warning interstitial that pops up before the video starts to let viewers know. Such contents can also not be monetised or recommended, cannot be liked, commented on or added to suggested videos.

Additionally, the company is looking to expand Jigsaw’s Redirect Method, which redirects people watching extremist propaganda content to videos that provide opposite viewpoints, to cover more languages.

Google.org recently announced a $5 million innovation fund to help tackle hate and extremism. This should further help build a resistance against radicalisation.