YouTube reveals prevalence of videos that violate its standards for the first time

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About 1.6 million views out of every 1 billion on YouTube are for videos that violate its content policies, roughly in line with the previous year, the proprietary online video streaming service revealed on Tuesday. of Google, a unit of Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) Inc.

The “violation viewing rate” (VVR) has fallen more than 70% since the company began tracking it in the fourth quarter of 2017, YouTube said, showing progress in its efforts to Block hate speech and other videos you deem dangerous before they go viral.

Critics have said insufficient policing by YouTube and other social media companies allows false or hateful rhetoric to spread, fueling acts of violence like the attack on the US Capitol in January.

YouTube’s VVR rate was flat over the last six measured quarters, according to the new data, which extends through the end of 2020.

Jennifer O’Connor, YouTube’s chief product officer, told reporters that she hopes releasing the estimate each quarter “will continue to hold us accountable.”

O’Connor said the rate, like other enforcement data published by YouTube, could fluctuate as its technology, rules and users evolve.

For example, YouTube removed nearly 171,000 channels for hate speech in the fourth quarter, three times more than in the previous period. He attributed the jump to improved detection technology.

The VVR comprises all policy violations and is derived from a sample of videos. Does not include comments on videos.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB ) publishes a similar estimate, but excludes harassment, spam and other violations. In addition, Facebook has said that at least 15 million of every 1 billion visits in the fourth quarter were to content that violates its rules against adult nudity and sexual activity, violent or graphic material and hate speech.

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In response to criticism about the “rating” itself, Facebook said last year that it would hire an outside auditor to review its reports.

YouTube’s O’Connor on Monday declined to commit to an outside audit, but said he “wouldn’t rule it out.”

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