YouTube is relying on AI video moderation during the COVID-19 pandemic as many of its human reviewers are being sent home to limit the spread of the maligned virus, confirms The Verge.
What this means to video producers and consumers is that videos might simply be taken down simply by being flagged for a policy breach, where normally said video might have been sent to a reviewer to confirm whether it should be taken down or not.
Due to steps in COVID-19 prevention, moderators are being sent home from where they are unable to review videos due to YouTube’s policies.
Human moderators are usually required to work from specific offices that are set up with the review process in mind. Having moderators work from controlled offices is important for huge companies like YouTube, as it limits the chances of sensitive data being exposed.
Working from an office also makes it more difficult for reviewers to reveal what they see day to day – many moderators have to sit through hours of very explicit content every day in order to keep YouTube viewers safe.
Since the company is relying more on AI, Youtube basically says that some mistakes are inherently expected. More videos may end up getting removed, with YouTube writing in a blog post that this is “including videos that may not violate policies.”
To ensure that there is no long-term damage to innocent uploaders, YouTube says that it will not dole out content strikes – which lead to bans – for content that gets removed by AI. The only exception will be for videos it has “high confidence” are against policies.
YouTube says the shift to AI moderation will not affect monetization. YouTube has even begun allowing creators to run ads about the coronavirus last week, after initially demonetizing such content.
Google’s COVID Response
YouTube’s owner and global search engine megacorp, Google is handling staff reductions by changing the times of shifts, limiting how many people are working at once and increasing the amount of space between people. Google is also going to be delaying support times for what they deem are “non-critical services”.
“Our priority is to take care of people who work in our offices—including employees, vendors and temporary staff—and the communities they work in. So we’ve been taking action to reduce the need for people to come into our offices, particularly in locations where local COVID-19 conditions merit increased precaution,” reads a blog post by the company.
“We recognize this may be a disruption for users and creators, but know this is the right thing to do for the people who work to keep YouTube safe and for the broader community,” YouTube writes.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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