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Greetings from the YouTube SQUAD

By The YouTube SQUAD

Hi Tubers,

We wanted to follow up on Maryrose’s recent post and talk to you all about what’s going on with our content policies and the flagging system on the site.

Our little department administers all of the community areas of the site, from rejecting porn, to responding to copyright notices, support email and much, much more! Our number one job is to keep the site safe, so that it can continue to exist. Our greatest challenge is maintaining this in an open and transparent way that helps users follow the rules and treats everyone equal.

When a video is flagged, it goes into a queue for us to review. It doesn’t matter how many times a video gets flagged, it will never be removed without us reviewing it first. If a video violates our Terms of Use, it is rejected. At this point, a warning letter is emailed to the user letting them know that the video was removed and that repeat violations will cause their account to be terminated. Lately the volume of videos to review has taken away from other things, like responding to support messages. This means that a lot of you haven’t gotten the attention you deserve.

One problem we’ve been experiencing is that sometimes these warning emails go into people’s spam buckets, other times people presume the warning was sent in error and choose to ignore it. Sometimes it’s not readily apparent which part of the Terms of Use was violated and users will look at what else is on the site to judge what is allowed. While this seems like a logical approach, the problem is that many of those videos may be prohibited but simply have not been flagged yet.

With all of this in mind, we’re working on improving the system so that we can finally get ahead of the game and serve you all better:

  • We have published new Community Guidelines which spell out, in plain English, just what is and is not allowed in videos and in text.
  • We are developing new tools to help users defend themselves from harassment, spam and other abuse.
  • Our team is growing every week, including some folks dedicated to support email.
  • We’re going to improve our communication with you.When something happens, you’ll get a notification on the site (not just in email) and we’re working on more detailed notifications. We sincerely want our warnings to be helpful so that people will learn not to make the same mistakes twice. We’re confident that better communication will make a huge difference. So expect to see improvements in this area very soon.
  • Once this is all in place, we hope to have tools that will allow us to review more videos in less time, allowing the rules to be enforced more evenly.

We’ve been planning and working on these things all year and we’re excited to be aggressively pursuing all of them.