YouTube cracks down on insults and hate speech

YouTube has announced an updated approach to content it deems to be forms of harassment.

The company said it was taking a stronger stance against threats and personal attacks in videos uploaded onto its platform.

YouTube explained it will no longer only remove videos that explicitly threaten a person, reveal their personal information or encourage the harassment of others, but will also act on more subtle forms of threats.

“Moving forward, our policies will go a step further and not only prohibit explicit threats, but also veiled or implied threats. This includes content simulating violence toward an individual or language suggesting physical violence may occur,” Youtube said.

It further stated that it would police “demeaning language that goes too far” with regards to comments that may amount to hate speech.

“We will no longer allow content that maliciously insults someone based on protected attributes such as their race, gender expression, or sexual orientation. This applies to everyone, from private individuals, to YouTube creators, to public officials.”

Consequences for repeat offenders

To discourage harassing behaviour, YouTube said that channels that repeatedly violate these new policies would be suspended from the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), cutting their videos off from monetisation.

“We may also remove content from channels if they repeatedly harass someone. If this behaviour continues, we’ll take more severe action including issuing strikes or terminating a channel altogether,” YouTube added.

The company said that the policy changes would also apply to comments by users of the platform and elaborated on how it was addressing “toxic” responses.

“To combat this we remove comments that clearly violate our policies – over 16 million in the third quarter of this year, specifically due to harassment.”

YouTube reiterated that it remained committed to being an open platform for users and creators with diverse views.

“We remain committed to our openness as a platform and to ensuring that spirited debate and a vigorous exchange of ideas continue to thrive here.”

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YouTube cracks down on insults and hate speech