Today YouTube sprung its updated harassment policy on creators which targets them with harsh punishments for “going too far” with jokes or creating content that “insults” someone based on “protected attributes.”
YouTube then started to apply this policy retroactively and removed several videos, some of which were more than three years old and had been compliant with YouTube’s policies when they were uploaded. The removed videos included comedy videos, political commentary videos, and the popular Leafy Content Cop video from iDubbbz.
And based on comments from YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan, it seems that things are going to get even worse for creators in the coming months and the scale of the removals is likely to ramp up.
Mohan told Vox that YouTube is currently “going through an “incubation process” in which the company is training thousands of raters to more accurately identify speech that constitutes harassment under the new policies.”
Mohan didn’t specify how long this “incubation process” will last or when these raters will start flagging content for violations of this updated harassment policy. However, his comments suggest that once they’re fully trained, an increased amount of content will be flagged and removed under this updated policy.
YouTube has already removed over 16 million comments in the third quarter of this year and expects this number to increase in future quarters as a result of this updated harassment policy.
In the previous quarter, YouTube highlighted just how much of an impact policies like these have on the wider creator community when it announced over 100,000 videos had been removed for “hate speech” – a 5x increase on the first quarter of this year.
Like with this updated harassment policy, YouTube’s updated “hate speech” rules were far-reaching and led to innocuous videos from independent journalists, model makers, and history channels being taken down or demonetized.