YouTube Deleted 5 Million Videos For Content Violation In Crackdown On Terrorism And Extremism

YouTube is reacting to widespread criticism that it doesn't do enough to police violent content.

YouTube Deleted 5 Million Videos For Content Violation To Crack Down On Violence And Extremism
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YouTube is reacting to widespread criticism that it doesn't do enough to police violent content.

YouTube, the Google-owned video juggernaut, deleted about 5 million videos for content policy violations in the fourth quarter of 2017. The deletions occurred before any viewers saw the videos, Reuters reported.

The mass deletions were done in response to widespread criticism from advertisers and from several governments that the social-media platform was not doing enough to protect viewers from violent, extremist, abusive, or offensive content.

YouTube released its first-ever community guidelines enforcement report on April 23, where it revealed the following highlights for the quarter between October and December 2017.

  • “We removed over 8 million videos from YouTube during these months. The majority of these 8 million videos were mostly spam or people attempting to upload adult content – and represent a fraction of a percent of YouTube’s total views during this time period.
  • 6.7 million were first flagged for review by machines rather than humans.
  • Of those 6.7 million videos, 76 percent were removed before they received a single view.”

YouTube also said it’s making progress toward hiring 10,000 people by the end of 2018 to help flag and remove violent offensive content.

“We’ve also hired full-time specialists with expertise in violent extremism, counterterrorism, and human rights, and we’ve expanded regional expert teams,” the company said.

Pro-terrorism videos linked to ISIS or al-Qaeda have also been targeted, and the automated scans to speed up their removal have been accelerated, YouTube said.

Facebook Is Also Targeting Pro-Terrorism Videos

The move follows a similar initiative by Facebook, which revealed in an April 23 blog post that it had removed 1.9 million terrorism-linked videos in the first quarter of 2018.

“In Q1 we took action on 1.9 million pieces of ISIS and al-Qaeda content, about twice as much from the previous quarter,” Facebook executives wrote.

facebook removes videos for content policy violations
  Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock

Facebook said it had identified the pro-terrorism videos on its own, and not after they were reported or flagged by FB users. Facebook has previously come under fire for allowing itself to be used as a worldwide recruiting tool for ISIS and al-Qaeda.

“In Q1 2018, 99% of the ISIS and al-Qaeda content we took action on was not user-reported,” the social-media giant said. “In most cases, we found this material due to advances in our technology, but this also includes detection by our internal reviewers.”

Meanwhile, Facebook stock remains under pressure in the wake of the privacy scandal that erupted last month. Since the data-breach news broke on March 16, Facebook has lost more than $58 billion in market value, as the Inquisitr has reported.

Not only has Facebook’s stock price been pummeled recently, but Wall Street investors like billionaire Jeffrey Gundlach are so bearish about the company that they’re betting against it.

Gundlach, who famously shorted Apple stock before it crashed in 2012, now says it’s time to short Facebook. Why? Because he believes FB stock will remain in free-fall for the foreseeable future. Yikes.