Human moderators will oversee YouTube content, the Google-owned video streaming platform has announced. As a result, YouTube will no longer rely on artificial intelligence (AI) based automated systems to perform content moderation. Earlier this year, Google made the decision of putting AI to the content moderation work for YouTube in the wake of the pandemic.
YouTube outlines content moderation plans
Last month, Google had a brief explanation of why the company had been removing far more YouTube videos than usual. YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan acknowledged the fact that AI moderators couldn’t be as precise and accurate as human moderators. He also admitted that YouTube’s automated systems may have incorrectly removed certain videos.
“One of the decisions we made [at the beginning of the pandemic] when it came to machines who couldn’t be as precise as humans, we were going to err on the side of making sure that our users were protected, even though that might have resulted in a slightly higher number of videos coming down,” YouTube’s chief product officer told the Financial Times (paywalled).
Google said that in response to Covid-19, the search giant decided to reduce in-office staffing. As a result, Google temporarily resorted to technology to help YouTube make the content moderation work normally done by human reviewers. Since machines are not as accurate as humans when it comes to making content-level decisions, YouTube ended up removing more content that was not necessarily violative of its policies.
Between the period of April and June 2020, YouTube removed a total of 11.4 million videos citing violation of its Community Guidelines. More than 10.8 million videos were removed as the result of automated flagging. Google also confirmed YouTube has reversed 160,000 of those removals. As per YouTube, although 25 percent of all content removal appeals are usually successful, this rate went up to 50 percent under the AI’s moderation.
In related news, Mozilla is cracking down on irrelevant YouTube recommendations. Mozilla recently released a new browser extension called RegretsReporters, which allows viewers to report videos they wish they had never watched.