Responsibility is our number one priority, and chief among our areas of focus is protecting minors and families. Over the years, we’ve heavily invested in a number of technologies and efforts to protect young people on our platform, such as our CSAI Match technology. And in 2015, because YouTube has never been for kids under 13, we created YouTube Kids as a way for kids to be able to safely explore their interests and for parents to have more control. Accounts belonging to people under 13 are terminated when discovered. In fact, we terminate thousands of accounts per week as part of this process.
We also enforce a strong set of policies to protect minors on our platform, including those that prohibit exploiting minors, encouraging dangerous or inappropriate behaviors, and aggregating videos of minors in potentially exploitative ways. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, we removed more than 800,000 videos for violations of our child safety policies, the majority of these before they had ten views.
The vast majority of videos featuring minors on YouTube, including those referenced in recent news reports, do not violate our policies and are innocently posted — a family creator providing educational tips, or a parent sharing a proud moment. But when it comes to kids, we take an extra cautious approach towards our enforcement and we’re always making improvements to our protections. Here are a few updates we’ve made over the past several months:
Over the last 2+ years, we’ve been making regular improvements to the machine learning classifier that helps us protect minors and families. We rolled out our most recent improvement earlier this month. With this update, we’ll be able to better identify videos that may put minors at risk and apply our protections, including those described above, across even more videos.
To stay informed of the latest research and advances in child safety, we work with civil society and law enforcement. In the last two years, we’ve shared tens of thousands of reports with NCMEC, leading to numerous law enforcement investigations.1 Additionally, we share our technologies and expertise with the industry, and consult with outside experts to complement our team of in-house experts.
YouTube is a company made up of parents and families, and we’ll always do everything we can to prevent any use of our platform that attempts to exploit or endanger minors. Kids and families deserve the best protection we have to offer: We’re committed to investing in the teams and technology to make sure they get it.
—The YouTube Team
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In recent months, we’ve noticed a growing trend around content on YouTube that attempts to pass as family-friendly, but is clearly not. While some of these videos may be suitable for adults, others are completely unacceptable, so we are working to remove them from YouTube. Here’s what we’re doing:
Across the board we have scaled up resources to ensure that thousands of people are working around the clock to monitor, review and make the right decisions across our ads and content policies. These latest enforcement changes will take shape over the weeks and months ahead as we work to tackle this evolving challenge. We’re wholly committed to addressing these issues and will continue to invest the engineering and human resources needed to get it right. As a parent and as a leader in this organization, I’m determined that we do.
Johanna Wright, Vice President of Product Management at YouTube