YouTube Tries To Reduce Spread of 'Borderline Content,' Misinformation

YouTube is taking steps to reduce the spread of content that promotes conspiracy theories and other fringe content. 

In a blog post Friday, the company says it will work to reduce recommendations of those videos, though it will not remove the videos from the platform.

“[YouTube will be] taking a closer look at how we can reduce the spread of content that comes close to — but doesn’t quite cross the line — of violating our Community Guidelines," the blog post says. “To that end, we’ll begin reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways — such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.”

YouTube says the shift will only impact around 1% of all videos on the platform, though with more than 300 hours of video uploaded to the platform every minute, that may still represent a significant amount of video content.

The company will use a combination of machine learning and human reviewers to make the change, which will happen gradually beginning in the U.S.

In the blog post, YouTube says the change “strikes a balance between maintaining a platform for free speech and living up to our responsibility to users.”

The algorithm tweak follows reports from news outlets, such as BuzzFeed News and The Atlantic that attempted to track how YouTube’s recommendation algorithm keeps people watching. Their reporting showed that users that watched benign clips from popular news or entertainment programs would subsequently be fed recommendations for videos that ultimately led to fringe or conspiracy content.

2 comments about "YouTube Tries To Reduce Spread of 'Borderline Content,' Misinformation".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, January 26, 2019 at 3:07 a.m.

    By borderline do they mean content that is debatable as to its authenticity, or are they referring to USA's largest southern border that currently seems to be a plethora of misinformation emerging from a primary source?

  2. Trevor Lakes from 1987, January 28, 2019 at noon

    People should be taught not to believe everything they watch, but be allowed to watch and make there own opinions minus anything obviously vial or disgusting or completely full of hate speech. Freedom of speech 1people hopefully search for what they see, 2find multiple oposing opinions and 3make there own decision much like how you would prepare for a intellectual debate. Hopefully people take these steps during there own decision making process, seems like people need to educate themselves and not rely on media to filter the stories they see in my opinion. If someone wants to believe the earth is flat and they are not hurting anyone i believe that is there right.

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