With every good thing, there comes a tendency for it to be exploited for bad. Not even the Internet can escape this scenario. Like popular social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, YouTube is increasingly waging a war against rampant bad content on the site.
|The TV of the Internet|
Recently, YouTube videos with thumbnails have been showing women engaging in various sexual acts with horses and dogs populate top search results on the video platform, according to a report from BuzzFeed News. Some of these videos, which can be easily found through YouTube’s algorithmic recommendation engine after searching innocuous phrases like “girl and her horse,” have millions of views and been on the platform for months.
Quite naturally, YouTube videos depicting such acts would be more easily caught by the company’s algorithmic filters, its user-reporting system, and its human content moderators. Harder to find and weed out are videos that use graphic and obscene images as thumbnails, alongside clickbait titles, to juice viewership and generate more ad revenue. It does not seem like any of the videos featuring the bestiality thumbnails do in fact feature bestiality.
So something needed to be done. Thus YouTube went through and began scrubbing its platform of the videos and accounts responsible for the bestiality thumbnail content once the news organization notified it of the issue. A recent New York Times report says YouTube took down a total of 8.28 million videos in 2017, with about 80 percent of those takedowns having started with a flag from its artificial intelligence-powered content moderation system. Still, so long as YouTube relies mostly on software to address so-called problem videos, it will have to manually scrub its platform clean of content like bestiality thumbnails and whatever other dark corners of the internet surface on public-facing YouTube search results and through its recommendation engine.
So while the companies responsible are getting their acts toghether and cleaning up the platform, let us endeavor to be good Internet citizens and not even post garbage in the first instance on the Internet.