YouTube to Boost Human Moderator Team to 10K

Technology PCmag

YouTube is using the lessons it learned in tackling violent extremist content to tackle another problem causing advertisers to flee: pedophilic and exploitative child content.

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In a Monday blog post, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said Google will grow its content review teams to more than 10,000 workers in 2018. These employees are tasked with removing policy-violating content and training the company's machine learning systems to identify similar videos in the future.

According to USA Today, that represents a 25 percent increase in the number of YouTube reviewers, putting the current number around 8,000.

Google is also planning to collaborate with more "academics, industry groups, and subject matter experts" to help understand and tackle the proliferation of exploitative child content.

"As the CEO of YouTube, I've seen how our open platform has been a force for creativity, learning and access to information," Wojcicki wrote in a blog post. "But I've also seen up-close that there can be another, more troubling, side of YouTube's openness. I've seen how some bad actors are exploiting our openness to mislead, manipulate, harass, or even harm."

In June, Google deployed machine learning technology to flag violent extremist content for human review after several big advertisers fled amidst revelations that their ads appeared next to videos promoting terrorism and hate. That technology has helped the company's human reviewers remove "nearly five time as many" policy-violating videos than before, which Wojcicki called "tremendous progress."

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Now, Google is having its human reviewers train the machine learning technology to identify child safety violations. "Our goal is to stay one step ahead of bad actors, making it harder for policy-violating content to surface or remain on YouTube," Wojcicki wrote.

The company also plans to start issuing regular reports next year detailing its progress to identify and remove policy-violating videos and comments.

Google is also planning a "new approach to advertising on YouTube," Wojcicki wrote. "We are planning to apply stricter criteria, conduct more manual curation, while also significantly ramping up our team of ad reviewers to ensure ads are only running where they should," she explained.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.