YouTube is constructing major changes after a wave of press exposed disturbing content targeted to children on the video platform.
The Google-owned company published a blog post on Wednesday detailing five ways they’re addressing the problems. These updates come a month after Mashable reporter Brian Koerber’s , the company’s family-friendly app, showing disturbing videos like Disney characters utilizing rifles. They also expand on product changes YouTube announced earlier this month.
Koerber’s story was followed by a wave of press attention, including a New York Times feature and a BuzzFeed investigation published Wednesday that uncovered dozens of videos featuring child actors in uncomfortable and even abusive situations. Those videos have since been removed. But as BuzzFeed noted, YouTube had repeatedly failed to address user-submitted reports on these same issues.
To further address the problem, YouTube plans to add more human oversight to its content and also expand its use of machine learning technology and automated tools to detect inappropriate content. As was previously announced, these videos are not allowed to include advertising.
As Koerber reported, videos that appeared in search results on YouTube Kids were selected by an algorithm and were not subject to human review, according to Google’s support page for YouTube at the time.
YouTube also will disable all comments on videos of minors if sex or predatory commentaries are made.
The company will release a “comprehensive guide” for creators on how to create “enriching family content” that abides by YouTube’s community criteria.
YouTube has realise it can’t and shouldn’t address the problem alone.
“To help us better understand how to treat this content, we will be growing the number of experts we work with, and doubling the number of Trusted Flaggers we partner with in this area, ” the blog post reads.
As part of the changes, YouTube will be evaluating its verification policy. Some of the offending channels, flagged by BuzzFeed Wednesday, were verified. According to YouTube, the verification process was done automatically as recently as last year. The company told BuzzFeed they will now add more human oversight.