Earlier this year Google had a major issue when it was reported that lewd comments were being left on videos with minors in them. In response, Google quickly cracked down on these video by disabling comments on videos that have children in them.
Now Google has announced new efforts to protect kids who create videos on YouTube. To do this Google is rolling out new rules for using live streams, comments, and reducing recommendations.
“YouTube is a company made up of parents and families, and we’ll always do everything we can to prevent any use of our platform that attempts to exploit or endanger minors. Kids and families deserve the best protection we have to offer: We’re committed to investing in the teams and technology to make sure they get it.” Google said in a statement on its blog.
Here is what YouTube is doing to protect minors:
- Restricting live features: We updated enforcement of our live streaming policy to specifically disallow younger minors from live streaming unless they are clearly accompanied by an adult. Channels not in compliance with this policy may lose their ability to live stream. We also launched new classifiers (machine learning tools that help us identify specific types of content) on our live products to find and remove more of this content.
- Disabling comments on videos featuring minors: We disabled comments on tens of millions of videos featuring minors across the platform, to limit the risk of exploitation. Additionally, we implemented a classifier that helped us remove 2x the number of violative comments. We recognize that comments are a core part of the YouTube experience and creators have told us they feel we removed a valuable way for them to connect with and grow audiences. But we strongly believe this is an important step to keeping young people safe on YouTube.
- Reducing recommendations: We expanded our efforts from earlier this year around limiting recommendations of borderline content to include videos featuring minors in risky situations. While the content itself does not violate our policies, we recognize the minors could be at risk of online or offline exploitation. We’ve already applied these changes to tens of millions of videos across YouTube.
Google also reported that over the last two years over 6,000 law enforcement investigations have come from reports Google sent to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Google is hoping that the new updates they have rolled out will help them “better identify videos that may put minors at risk and apply our protections, including those described above, across even more videos.” For now, we will have to wait and see what this means for millions of YouTubers especially the family vloggers who have children in their videos.
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