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Here is how YouTube plans to better tackle inappropriate videos

The "Intelligence Desk" looks to proactively remove inappropriate content from YouTube before they get any more controversial.

Published onJanuary 20, 2018

  • YouTube announced its “Intelligent Desk” that will proactively track down inappropriate content.
  • The idea behind the initiative is to find the inappropriate content before they cause more controversy.
  • This comes at a time when YouTube’s content moderation has come under scrutiny.

Logan Paul and inappropriate videos aimed at kids have thrust YouTube back under scrutiny, and the video service plans to do something about that with its new “Intelligence Desk.”

The initiative, reports BuzzFeed News, uses Google data, user reports, social media trends, and other metrics to detect inappropriate content early before they spiral into further controversy. From there, YouTube either takes the content down or makes sure no advertiser messaging gets anywhere near it.

“As we outlined in a blog in December, we’re expanding our work against bad actors trying to abuse our platform,” said a YouTube spokesperson. “This includes hiring more people working to address potentially violative content and increasing our use of machine learning technology.

The video service will also team up with over 100 organizations, including government agencies and academics, to further understand the problem.

In all likelihood, YouTube created the Intelligence Desk to improve its criticized moderation system. YouTube was scrutinized for its slow response to Logan Paul and his recent video that appeared to show a dead body in Japan’s notorious suicide forest. Compounding matters were the numerous videos that masqueraded as family-friendly content.

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To YouTube’s credit, the service recently took down over 270 accounts and 150,000 videos. It also began training machine learning technology to detect more hateful videos and plans to add over 10,000 content moderators. Finally, YouTube said it will be more transparent in 2018 and publish data reports.

Whether these efforts will be enough to curtail questionable content remains to be seen. We also do not know whether these changes will spur the likes of Adidas, Mars, and Hewlett-Packard to resume their activity on YouTube.

That being said, it is clear that YouTube is aware of the criticisms and wants to set things right.

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