Like millions of families around the world, my family and I have been breaking our fast this Ramadan in the safety of our own home in the sunny city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — something I am very grateful for. Although I love my family, and I am thankful to have them here with me this Ramadan, something was still missing.
So I reached out to a few of my friends (Omar Hussein, Noor Stars, the Saudi Reporters, Asrar Aref, and the Anasala Family) and asked them if they wanted to come over for Iftar, and to bring millions of their friends with them.
On Tuesday, May 19, we decided to break our fast together at 6:32 p.m. — sunset in Saudi Arabia. We played games, showed-off our cooking skills, and finally broke our fast along with thousands of people who joined us from across the country and beyond.
What’s incredible is that people all around the world have been trying to find innovative ways to create that sense of togetherness during the holy month while staying safe. Earlier this month, creators in Indonesia came together and hosted a virtual Iftar, bringing together people from all over the country. Also next week, on May 26 at 8 p.m. EEST, Arab popstar Nancy Ajram is going to host a special Eid celebration concert on her YouTube channel.
I am proud I got to be part of this incredible experience that showed the world the power of YouTube and the creator community. Bringing this many people together during this difficult time is truly rewarding.
From all of us, we wish you a Ramadan Kareem and a blessed Eid ahead.
Mohamed Moshaya, YouTube Creator based in Saudi Arabia
This week, millions of people across the globe will celebrate Passover and Easter. And in the coming weeks, millions will begin to observe Ramadan. This year, these important religious holidays will feel very different, as faith organizations all over the world look for new ways to celebrate safely in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within their communities.
During these difficult times, it’s important for us to continue to connect with each other and feel part of our wider communities, even from home.
While some faith organizations have used digital tools to connect with their congregations for many years, this year’s broadly mandated orders to stay home will make it essential for churches, synagogues, mosques, families and individuals to find new ways of coming together, online.
The shift has already begun. Since the start of March, the combined subscribers of all Vatican News channels has more than doubled.
To assist faith organizations everywhere who are new to online services, YouTube has brought together helpful information to get started with live streaming. Please visit our Playlist and Help Center for best practices, or check out instructions for hosting a live stream event either from a mobile device or desktop.
For those who are observing Passover this week, synagogues are offering many ways to share and celebrate online. Park Avenue Synagogue, in New York City, is live streaming Seders and festival services throughout the week, starting with a one hour Seder on Wednesday, April 8 at 6 p.m. ET.
We also invite you to celebrate with a special Saturday Night Seder, premiering exclusively on YouTube via Tasty and SaturdayNightSeder on Saturday, April 11 at 8 p.m. ET. This Passover-themed variety show will raise funds for the CDC Foundation, and includes comedy sketches, heartfelt moments and music, with an impressive list of participants including Jason Alexander, Ben Platt, Idina Menzel, Dan Levy, Henry Winkler, Tan France and Senator Chuck Schumer, among many others.
For those celebrating Good Friday and Easter, many churches are hosting live streams for their local congregations, so please check in with your church. The Vatican will live stream all of its Holy Week services from St. Peter’s Basilica, including Easter Sunday mass at 11 a.m. CET.
Renowned opera singer Andrea Bocelli will perform live at 7 p.m. CET on Sunday, April 12 from Milan’s historic Duomo Cathedral, available exclusively on YouTube. The concert entitled, “Music For Hope,” will represent a message of love, healing and hope to Italy and the world. The Duomo, currently closed, will open its doors exceptionally for Andrea Bocelli who will be accompanied only by the cathedral organist, Emanuele Vianelli, playing one of world’s largest pipe organs. The “Music For Hope” trailer can be seen here.
We’ll have more to share in the next few weeks about upcoming Ramadan celebrations.
We wish safe and healthy holidays for faith communities across the world.
—The YouTube Team
The anonymous forum 8chan is back, although it might not be the anything-goes site it once was. The newly rebranded 8kun launched on November 3rd with many of 8chan's boards having made the migration. There's now a more prominent disclaimer that 8k…
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After several months of testing, Reddit announced today that it is rolling out a new feature called Community Awards for all eligible subreddits. The feature will allow moderators of communities on the site to create their own Reddit Gold-style medal…
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OnePlus has a good reputation for being a company that invites community input and involvement in the process of making improvements to their products, including their OxygenOS operating system. For the next couple months they are stepping things up a bit with a contest dubbed the Product Manager Challenge to try to identify features that […]
Come comment on this article: OnePlus invites community members to participate in the Product Manager Challenge
We are committed to tackling the challenge of quickly removing content that violates our Community Guidelines and reporting on our progress. That’s why in April we launched a quarterly YouTube Community Guidelines Enforcement Report. As part of this ongoing commitment to transparency, today we’re expanding the report to include additional data like channel removals, the number of comments removed, and the policy reason why a video or channel was removed.
We previously shared how technology is helping our human review teams remove content with speed and volume that could not be achieved with people alone. Finding all violative content on YouTube is an immense challenge, but we see this as one of our core responsibilities and are focused on continuously working towards removing this content before it is widely viewed.
When we detect a video that violates our Guidelines, we remove the video and apply a strike to the channel. We terminate entire channels if they are dedicated to posting content prohibited by our Community Guidelines or contain a single egregious violation, like child sexual exploitation. The vast majority of attempted abuse comes from bad actors trying to upload spam or adult content: over 90% of the channels and over 80% of the videos that we removed in September 2018 were removed for violating our policies on spam or adult content.
Looking specifically at the most egregious, but low-volume areas, like violent extremism and child safety, our significant investment in fighting this type of content is having an impact: Well over 90% of the videos uploaded in September 2018 and removed for Violent Extremism or Child Safety had fewer than 10 views.
Each quarter we may see these numbers fluctuate, especially when our teams tighten our policies or enforcement on a certain category to remove more content. For example, over the last year we’ve strengthened our child safety enforcement, regularly consulting with experts to make sure our policies capture a broad range of content that may be harmful to children, including things like minors fighting or engaging in potentially dangerous dares. Accordingly, we saw that 10.2% of video removals were for child safety, while Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) represents a fraction of a percent of the content we remove.
As with videos, we use a combination of smart detection technology and human reviewers to flag, review, and remove spam, hate speech, and other abuse in comments.
We’ve also built tools that allow creators to moderate comments on their videos. For example, creators can choose to hold all comments for review, or to automatically hold comments that have links or may contain offensive content. Over one million creators now use these tools to moderate their channel’s comments.1
We’ve also been increasing our enforcement against violative comments:
We are committed to making sure that YouTube remains a vibrant community, where creativity flourishes, independent creators make their living, and people connect worldwide over shared passions and interests. That means we will be unwavering in our fight against bad actors on our platform and our efforts to remove egregious content before it is viewed. We know there is more work to do and we are continuing to invest in people and technology to remove violative content quickly. We look forward to providing you with more updates.
In December we shared how we’re expanding our work to remove content that violates our policies. Today, we’re providing an update and giving you additional insight into our work, including the release of the first YouTube Community Guidelines Enforcement Report.
Providing More Information
We are taking an important first step by releasing a quarterly report on how we’re enforcing our Community Guidelines. This regular update will help show the progress we’re making in removing violative content from our platform. By the end of the year, we plan to refine our reporting systems and add additional data, including data on comments, speed of removal, and policy removal reasons.
We’re also introducing a Reporting History dashboard that each YouTube user can individually access to see the status of videos they’ve flagged to us for review against our Community Guidelines.
Machines Helping to Address Violative Content
Machines are allowing us to flag content for review at scale, helping us remove millions of violative videos before they are ever viewed. And our investment in machine learning to help speed up removals is paying off across high-risk, low-volume areas (like violent extremism) and in high-volume areas (like spam).
Highlights from the report — reflecting data from October – December 2017 — show:
For example, at the beginning of 2017, 8 percent of the videos flagged and removed for violent extremism were taken down with fewer than 10 views.3 We introduced machine learning flagging in June 2017. Now more than half of the videos we remove for violent extremism have fewer than 10 views.
The Value of People + Machines
Deploying machine learning actually means more people reviewing content, not fewer. Our systems rely on human review to assess whether content violates our policies. You can learn more about our flagging and human review process in this video:
Last year we committed to bringing the total number of people working to address violative content to 10,000 across Google by the end of 2018. At YouTube, we’ve staffed the majority of additional roles needed to reach our contribution to meeting that goal. We’ve also hired full-time specialists with expertise in violent extremism, counterterrorism, and human rights, and we’ve expanded regional expert teams.
We continue to invest in the network of over 150 academics, government partners, and NGOs who bring valuable expertise to our enforcement systems, like the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College London, Anti-Defamation League, and Family Online Safety Institute. This includes adding more child safety focused partners from around the globe, like Childline South Africa, ECPAT Indonesia, and South Korea’s Parents’ Union on Net.
We are committed to making sure that YouTube remains a vibrant community with strong systems to remove violative content and we look forward to providing you with more information on how those systems are performing and improving over time.
— The YouTube Team
1 This number does not include videos that were removed when an entire channel was removed. Most channel-level removals are due to spam violations and we believe that the percentage of violative content for spam is even higher.
2Not only do these 8 million videos represent a fraction of a percent of YouTube’s overall views, but that fraction of a percent has been steadily decreasing over the last five quarters.
3This excludes videos that were automatically matched as known violent extremist content at point of upload – which would all have zero views.
In this session of Failed Marketing 101, AT&T upsets the theater community with a recent tweet that insinuated you should use your phone to watch football during a theater performance. As you can imagine, that tweet didn’t go over very well.
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