YouTube Censorship is a Work in Progress

Well over two billion social media accounts have been made and is estimated to reach three billion by 2021. Each main social media platform is just saturated with content both appropriate and inappropriate. These websites enact their own censorship policies and methods to surveil for inappropriate posts. YouTube is a prominent platform that has been juggling with their policy guidelines nowadays. 

YouTube recently changed their 3-strike method that caused a stir within their community. Since content is increasingly growing on YouTube every minute, the company uses a bot to strike wrongful content by searching for keywords. Strikes on videos would lead to the creator’s account being frozen for months. The third and final strike may cause their accounts to be terminated.

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Source: medium.com

A notable creator that had his account deleted permanently was Alex Jones last summer. The famous conspiracy theorist tip-toed along the boundaries of YouTube’s community guidelines with his videos. In his videos, he’d show graphic content, show hate speech, and express his radical ideas. The past summer, YouTube finally struck and banned his channel due to his content. But these bots are not perfect in the eyes of the YouTube community.

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Source: Mumkey Jones: YouTube’s Most Wanted

A channel I sometimes stumbled upon this past year was just recently terminated for violating their community guidelines. “Mumkey Jones” created commentaries that brought attention to absurd content creators and used dark humor to capture his crowd. Back in 2014, he created satirical content centered around the 2014 Isla Vista mass shooter, Elliot Rodger. Jones made multiple videos making fun of Rodger and his persona. Four years later, Jones’ account was banned because it was determined that he was glorified a mass murderer. Jones placed the blame on YouTube’s algorithm for banning him for using Rodger’s name in video titles.  

“Sometimes you have to rely on software. And sometimes that software goes crazy and deletes a man’s career.”

His channel was busted by YouTube’s algorithm, yet they lightly punished Logan Paul for filming a dead body and posting it for his large, young audience to watch. He did lose advertisements and job opportunities because of it, but he has regained his fame and has been more prominent than ever across social media. The new policy now gives consistent punishments to all creators while also giving them a warning first with no penalty.

Another problem YouTube is facing with their abundance of content is related to pedophilia. Over 400 channels were banned and reported to authorities by YouTube for promoting pedophilia. YouTube found millions of comments related to child pornography. There have been disgusting videos posted on the site that attracted an audience of pedophiles. YouTube’s algorithm was being exploited by pedophiles.

Their algorithm is spotty. Content creators can easily go around it, and some may mistakenly get caught up in it. The new changes to become more transparent to their community is a good start. Time will tell how effective this policy will be, and with a solid team, consistent improvements will be made. But with the amount of content that is being created every minute, you never know what may have slipped past their sights. This crackdown on pedophilia could be just the beginning of other problems stemming from inappropriate content. 

 

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