There's been a growing trend of content on YouTube that pretends to be kid-friendly, but is anything but. There have also been reports of content creators with incredibly questionable content that some feel borders on child abuse, as reported by Buzzfeed. Google has been trying to manage this dual problem by targeting disturbing videos, but now it's planning to do even more (which makes a ton of sense given the accusations). According to a blog post, the company wants to toughen up it's approach to manage this issue with policies like applying community guidelines more quickly and strictly, removing ads from the disturbing videos, blocking inappropriate comments on videos featuring minors, giving creators of family-friendly content more guidance and continuing to listen to experts when content is too nuanced for a simple decision.
Google's Johanna Wright explains in a blog post that these changes to enforcement "will take shape over the weeks and months ahead as we work to tackle this evolving challenge." The company has expanded its enforcement guidelines for removing child-endangering content that features minors, even when that isn't the uploader's intent. Wright says that Google terminated more than 50 channels and removed thousands of videos over the past week using the new guidelines. The company has also created policies that will age-restrict videos that have kid-friendly characters dealing with mature themes or adult humor. It's finding these videos with the help of machine learning and automated tools, which then can escalate issues to human reviewers.
Since June, Google has removed ads from three million videos that violated updated rules for advertisements in videos that contain family entertainment characters that engage in "violent, offensive or otherwise inappropriate behavior," even if its done for humor or satire. The company promises to take an aggressive stance against nasty comments on videos that feature minors, as well. Google also knows that there is a lot of gray area in applying its stricter rules and policies, so will continue to work with media experts and "Trusted Flaggers" to make sure that appropriate videos that somehow trip the filters won't just be deleted, like a video of adults dressed as popular family characters at a comic-book convention.