Tuesday June 25, 2019
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YouTube Not to Shut ‘Guidance’ Despite Abuse Issues: Report

To limit the risk of exploitation, YouTube disabled comments on tens of millions of videos featuring minors across the platform

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FILE - Signage is seen inside the YouTube Space LA offices in Los Angeles, California, Oct. 21, 2015. VOA

YouTube does not want to turn off recommendation despite concerns that its algorithm helps videos with young children spread among sexual predators, The New York Times reported.

By suggesting what users should watch next, YouTube’s automated recommendation system drives most of the platform’s billions of views. But this system may also recommend videos of girls as young as 5-6 wearing bathing suits, or getting dressed or doing a split, researchers have found.

But YouTube’s teams don’t want to turn off the automated system. The company said because recommendations were the biggest traffic driver, removing them would hurt “creators” who rely on those clicks, said the report on Monday.

Instead, the company will “limit recommendations on videos that it deems as putting children at risk,” the Times wrote.

YouTube’s terms of service state that children under the age of 13 aren’t allowed to have their own accounts, but many of these innocuous videos are uploaded by older family members, The Verge reported.

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The YouTube Music app is displayed on a mobile phone in Los Angeles. VOA

In a blog post on Monday YouTube said, “responsibility is our number one priority, and chief among our areas of focus is protecting minors and families.

“We also enforce a strong set of policies to protect minors on our platform, including those that prohibit exploiting minors, encouraging dangerous or inappropriate behaviours, and aggregating videos of minors in potentially exploitative ways,” it said.

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YouTube said it removed more than 800,000 videos for violations of its child safety policies, the majority of these before they had 10 views, in the first quarter of 2019 alone.

To limit the risk of exploitation, YouTube disabled comments on tens of millions of videos featuring minors across the platform. (IANS)

Next Story

YouTube Experimenting with Hiding Comments on Videos in India

For now, it remains unclear if YouTube would expand the experiment from Android to iOS or not

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YouTube, Google, google services
The YouTube Music app is displayed on a mobile phone in Los Angeles. VOA

In a bid to curb the spread of hateful and racist comments on its platform, Google-owned YouTube is experimenting with hiding comments on videos by default and the test has gone live in India.

The new feature, being experimented on Android for now, hides the comments that are displayed below the video unless a viewer taps the “Comments” button.

“We are testing a few different options on how to display comments on the watch page. This is one of many small experiments we run all the time on YouTube and we’ll consider rolling features out more broadly based on feedback on these experiments,” a YouTube spokesperson told IANS on Friday.

Even though the test feature is on by default currently, creators have the choice of turning the feature off which would traditionally display comments under their videos like the usual format.

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FILE – Silhouettes are seen in front of a Youtube logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, Oct. 29, 2014. VOA

For now, it remains unclear if YouTube would expand the experiment from Android to iOS or not.

For those who visit YouTube for videos and not to comment could easily keep themselves out of any hate, misinformation, toxicity or controversy that may have come up in the “Comments” section.

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In February, YouTube announced that it would no longer recommend videos that “come close” to violating its community guidelines, such as conspiracy or medically inaccurate videos like those claiming the earth is flat or making false claims about historic events.

In a similar attempt and to channelise user-focus on sharing and viewing better and sensible content on its platform, Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram is also planning on hiding the ‘Like’ counts for posts on its app. (IANS)