YouTube Has a ‘Trusted Flagger’ Program to Help Find Extreme Content

/ Mar 17, 2014

YouTube advertising in summer

YouTube has a “trusted flagger” program which allows a group of 200 trusted people and organizations to review videos on the site and flag any that may violate its community guidelines.

This program is unrelated to YouTube’s copyright infringement (Content ID) program, which focuses more on helping rights-owners find, claim, and monetize their assets on the site.

Instead, this “trusted flagger” program is designed to curb the existence of the worst kinds of videos — those that feature hate speech or pornography, or unlawful acts such as drug abuse, bomb-making, animal abuse, and any sort of graphic violence.

Those enlisted in the trusted flaggers program have the ability to flag as many as 20 videos at a time. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, YouTube then reviews these claims before deciding whether to remove the video or restrict it to older ages.

The existence of such a specialized group came to light after a Financial Times article last week and a Wall Street Journal article today revealed that the British government’s counter terrorism unit was one of the groups enlisted by YouTube to flag videos that were unsuitable for audiences.

For those concerned that this would be a way for government organizations to censor content on the world’s biggest video site, YouTube said that’s not the case. In a statement to the press, YouTube said that less than 10 of the 200 trusted flaggers are government agencies or private organizations. Most are trusted individuals who have a good track record in identifying offensive material on the site. And, again, the company is the only one that has the ability to remove any flagged content from the site.

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  • Kelly

    This is censorship, plain and simple. It’s not the case of a private company making the decision to stifle speech which it can do with its own property, which isn’t technically censorship, but now that we know (unnamed) government officials involved, we can go ahead and call it what it is, censorship without recourse.

    People should migrate away from “ThemTube” and put videos on a website without a hidden agenda, if one such site exists.

    • Spam_buster

      Not censorship… spam busting is why I do it!! Yes I’m one and I zap these “click here for the video” links all day long.. Why.. because 95% of them are scams and lying scumbags that want you to download something.. usually a video player, codec, or plug-in.. actually it’s usually a virus.. so I try and block that. Also have the “in order to verify your age we need your creditcard” .. no.. you are a thief.. fk off!! I’m not flagging gay, anarchist, anonymous, or anything else political or even semi-porno.. i’m only after spammers..


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