YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Let Toxic Videos Run Rampant – Bloomberg
As of 2017, YouTube’s policy for how content moderators handle conspiracy theories didn’t exist, according to a former moderator who specialized in foreign-language content. At the end of the year, fewer than twenty people were on the staff for “trust and safety,” the unit overseeing content policies, according to a former staffer. The team had to “fight tooth and nail” for more resources from the tech giant, this person said. A YouTube spokeswoman said that the division has grown “significantly” since but declined to share exact numbers. In February of 2018, the video calling the Parkland shooting victims “crisis actors” went viral on YouTube’s trending page. Policy staff suggested soon after limiting recommendations on the page to vetted news sources. YouTube management rejected the proposal, according to a person with knowledge of the event. The person didn’t know the reasoning behind the rejection, but noted that YouTube was then intent on accelerating its viewing time for videos related to news.
(tags: youtube google alphabet moderation conspiracy-theories news virality engagement)