In the past several months, content moderation has increased YouTube's workload to a significant extent as the onus is on the internet companies to keep their platforms clean and safer for their audience, especially the young ones. We have also seen numerous reports in the past signifying the difficulties with the content moderation process. YouTube is complex unlike millions of other websites out there since it also hosts the largest amount of videos on the Internet
YouTube's global head of trust and safety Matt Halprin who oversees the content moderation teams, revealed how the Google-owned video platform decides what is allowed and what should be prohibited on YouTube.
YouTube has come under fire recently for allowing videos that feature what many find offensive or violent, and for not doing enough to protect kids online. Halprin says his job is about making difficult decisions to craft policies. These policies keep YouTube clean and balances what the company considers one of its core tenets: people’s free speech.
YouTube's content moderation teams are spread into policy development and policy incubation, says Halprin.
"Policy development starts with the highest level of principles: We are an open platform. We do have a bias to allow freedom of expression on our platform and only remove content that we think is egregious and could cause real harm."
YouTube started to re-review its policies a couple of months ago.
"We look at which policies seem to be most out of kilter with what our enforcement teams are telling us, the gray area cases or which policies are regulators talking about or the press asking about.
Back in June, YouTube relaunched its hate speech policy.
Halprin says balancing free expression with safety is the toughest thing to do since there is not a right answer.
"Not all of us agree. One person will think that, "Hey, we should have more civility. We shouldn’t let something like this come up." And another person will say, "Yeah, but if you get rid of that uncivil comment, you lose some really valuable, you know, free expression or political discourse.""
(With inputs from AP)