YouTube reveals the prevalence of videos that violate its standards for the first time

YouTube videos that violate content policies have declined by less than 70% since 2017, Alphabet Inc.’s Google-owned video-sharing company said Tuesday.

About 1.6 million views per 1 billion views on YouTube are videos that violate its content policies, even about a year ago, YouTube said in a new revelation.

The “violative view rate” (VVR) has dropped by less than 70% since it first tracked in the fourth quarter of 2017, says YouTube; it shows its progress in hate speech and other videos considered dangerous before they go viral.

Critics say the inadequate YouTube policies and other social media companies have allowed false statements and hate speech to escalate into deadly violence, such as the US capital attack in January.

According to new data, YouTube’s VVR has been stable over the last six parent quarters, which runs until 2020.

Jennifer O’Connor, product director of YouTube, told reporters that she “expects to issue a forecast every quarter to remain accountable to us.”

Like other implementation figures released by YouTube, he said rates could fluctuate with technology, regulations, and consumer development. For example, YouTube removed about 171,000 channels for hate speech in the fourth quarter, three times more than in the previous quarter. It is because of the leap in advanced research technology.

VVR’s “violative view rate” violates all policies and is taken from video sampling. It does not include comments on the video.

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Facebook Inc. released a similar estimate but did not include bullying, spam, and other crimes. Also, Facebook said it had at least 15 million views out of 1 billion views in the fourth quarter that violated its rules against adult nudity and sexual activity, violent or graphic content, and hate speech.

In response to criticism of its own “judgment,” Facebook said it would hire an external auditor to evaluate the disclosure last year.

YouTube’s O’Connor Monday refused to conduct an external audit but said he would not “cancel it.”

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