Over the past several months, YouTube has faced a great deal of backlash for its inability to properly monitor its “kid-friendly” videos, as channels targeting children have been found to promote disturbing content, including child abuse and mature versions of beloved kid’s characters. In the face of these growing challenges, Google, who owns the streaming service, has announced its plan to hire 10,000 reviewers whose sole job will be to help the video platform get rid of problematic or inappropriate content that violates the site’s policies.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced the news on YouTube’s official blog, where she outlined the company’s plan to do a better job ensuring kids are not exposed to troubling content on their site. Wojcicki said she is proud of the openness and freedom that is available to users on YouTube but admits that in the past year she has seen “another, more troubling, side of YouTube’s openness.”
YouTube has reviewed the content of more than two million videos over the past six months. But Wojcicki knows that this problem will only continue to grow if it is not addressed head-on, which is why Google intends to have 10,000 people “working to address content that might violate our policies” in 2018. It is not currently known how many employees Google currently reviewing and flagging potentially troubling videos.
YouTube is also using technology to help cut down on disturbing kid content, as Wojcicki notes that “cutting-edge machine learning” helps employees flag nearly five times as many videos as they did before. In fact, according to the post, “98 percent of the videos we remove for violent extremism are flagged by our machine-learning algorithms.” This is a huge step for making YouTube a safe and fun environment for kids again and hopefully, these new reviewers will help eliminate the gross and strange content that too many kids are watching on their site.