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A feature currently being rolled out in the US displays notices below videos

  • It flags ones uploaded by news broadcasters which receive government money

  • The move is likely to affect videos from services such as Russia-backed RT

  • It may also apply to state-chartered news organisations such as the BBC and AFP

  • By Afp and Phoebe Weston For Mailonline >

    Published: 16:13 EST, 2 February 2018 | Updated: 06:46 EST, 5 February 2018

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    YouTube has started labelling news broadcasts that get government money as it vows to be stricter about content.

    A feature currently being rolled out in the US displays notices below 'propaganda' videos uploaded by news broadcasters that receive government or public money.

    The move is likely to affect videos from services such as Russia-backed RT, which critics call a propaganda outlet for Moscow.

    The flagging may also apply to state-chartered news organisations such as the BBC and AFP, and US-based public broadcasters. 

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    YouTube has started labelling news broadcasts that get government money as it vows to be stricter about content (stock image) 

    YouTube has started labelling news broadcasts that get government money as it vows to be stricter about content (stock image) 

    'Our goal is to equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch on YouTube', according to a blog post by YouTube News senior product manager Geoff Samek.

    'News is an important vertical for us and we want to be sure to get it right.'

    The blog post included a screen shot with a disclaimer about the US government-funded Radio Free Asia.  

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    Notices displayed with state-sponsored news broadcasts will include links to Wikipedia online encyclopedia so viewers can find out more about agencies behind the reports, according to Mr Samek.

    The feature is nascent and will be refined based on feedback from users.

    It follows a series of changes made last year by YouTube intended to 'better surface authoritative news,' according to Mr Samek.

    YouTube priorities for this year include tightening and better enforcing rules at the service, according to chief executive Susan Wojcicki.

    'The same creativity and unpredictability that makes YouTube so rewarding can also lead to unfortunate events where we need to take a clear, informed, and principled stance,' Ms Wojcicki said in an online post.

    A feature being rolled out in the US displays notices below videos uploaded by broadcasters which receive government or public money, such as Radio Free Asia (RFA) (pictured) 

    A feature being rolled out in the US displays notices below videos uploaded by broadcasters which receive government or public money, such as Radio Free Asia (RFA) (pictured) 

    'We realise we have a serious social responsibility to get these emerging policy issues right.'

    Solutions being worked on include enhanced software smarts and more human review of videos uploaded to YouTube, according to Ms Wojcicki.

    The number of workers at YouTube and Google focused on content that might violate policies was to increase to more than 10,000.

    'We're also currently developing policies that would lead to consequences if a creator does something egregious that causes significant harm to our community as a whole,' Ms Wojcicki said.

    'As part of our ongoing efforts to provide greater transparency to viewers around news sources on YouTube, we're rolling out notices on the watch page for each video uploaded by news broadcasters that receive public or government funding', a YouTube spokesperson told MailOnline. 

    The company declined to comment on whether it would be rolled out outside the US.   

    WHAT'S THE CONTROVERSY OVER YOUTUBE'S CONTENT?

    YouTube has been subject to various controversies since its creation in 2005. 

    It has become one of Google's fastest-growing operations in terms of sales by simplifying the process of distributing video online but putting in place few limits on content.

    However, parents, regulators, advertisers and law enforcement have become increasingly concerned about the open nature of the service. 

    They have contended that Google must do more to banish and restrict access to inappropriate videos, whether it be propaganda from religious extremists and Russia or comedy skits that appear to show children being forcibly drowned. 

    Child exploitation and inappropriate content

    By the end of last year YouTube said it had removed more than 50 user channels and has stopped running ads on more than 3.5 million videos since June.

    In March last year, a disturbing Peppa Pig fake, found by journalist Laura June, shows a dentist with a huge syringe pulling out the character's teeth as she screams in distress.

    Mrs June only realised the violent nature of the video as her three-year-old daughter watched it beside her.

    Hundreds of these disturbing videos were found on YouTube by BBC Trending back in March.

    By the end of last year YouTube said it had removed more than 50 user channels and has stopped running ads on more than 3.5 million videos since June. One of the deleted videos was the wildly popular Toy Freaks YouTube channel featuring a single dad and his two daughters

    By the end of last year YouTube said it had removed more than 50 user channels and has stopped running ads on more than 3.5 million videos since June. One of the deleted videos was the wildly popular Toy Freaks YouTube channel featuring a single dad and his two daughters

    All of these videos are easily accessed by children through YouTube's search results or recommended videos. 

    YouTube has been getting more stringent about deleting videos. One example is the wildly popular Toy Freaks YouTube channel featuring a single dad and his two daughters that was deleted last year.

    Although it's unclear what exact policy the channel violated, the videos showed the girls in unusual situations that often involved gross-out food play and simulated vomiting.

    The channel invented the 'bad baby' genre, and some videos showed the girls pretending to urinate on each other or fishing pacifiers out of the toilet.

    Adverts being shown next to inappropriate videos

    There has been widespread criticism that adverts are being shown on some clips depicting child exploitation.

    YouTube has now tightened its rules on who qualifies for posting money-making ads.

    Previously, channels with 10,000 total views qualified for the YouTube Partner Program which allows creators to collect some income from the adverts placed before their videos.

    But YouTube's parent company Google has announced that from February 20, channels will need 1,000 subscribers and to have racked up 4,000 hours of watch time over the last 12 months regardless of total views, to qualify.

    This is the biggest change to advertising rules on the site since its inception - and is another attempt to prevent the platform being 'co-opted by bad actors' after persistent complaints from advertisers over the past twelve months.

    In November last year Lidl, Mars, Adidas, Cadbury maker Mondelez, Diageo and other big companies all pulled advertising from YouTube.

    An investigation found the video sharing site was showing clips of scantily clad children alongside the ads of major brands.

    One video of a pre-teenage girl in a nightie drew 6.5 million views.

    Issues with system for flagging inappropriate videos

    Another investigation in November found YouTube's system for reporting sexual comments had serious faults.

    As a result, volunteer moderators have revealed there could be as many as 100,000 predatory accounts leaving inappropriate comments on videos.

    Users use an online form to report accounts they find inappropriate.

    Part of this process involves sending links to the specific videos or comments they are referring to.

    Investigators identified 28 comments that obviously violated YouTube's guidelines.

    According to the BBC, some include the phone numbers of adults, or requests for videos to satisfy sexual fetishes.

    The children in the videos appeared to be younger than 13, the minimum age for registering an account on YouTube.

    Last month YouTube agreed to manually review all videos in its ‘preferred’ section so advertisers are sure they are not promoting harmful videos.

    The move comes amid criticism that adverts are being shown on some clips depicting child exploitation.

    As well as manual reviews, YouTube has tightened its rules on who qualifies for posting money-making ads.

    Previously, channels with 10,000 total views qualified for the YouTube Partner Program which allows creators to collect some income from the adverts placed before their videos.

    But YouTube's parent company Google has announced that from February 20, channels will need 1,000 subscribers and to have racked up 4,000 hours of watch time over the last 12 months regardless of total views, to qualify.

    This is the biggest change to advertising rules on the site since its inception - and is another attempt to prevent the platform being 'co-opted by bad actors' after persistent complaints from advertisers over the past twelve months.

    In November last year Lidl, Mars, Adidas, Cadbury maker Mondelez, Diageo and other big companies all pulled advertising from YouTube.

    An investigation found the video sharing site was showing clips of scantily clad children alongside the ads of major brands.

    One video of a pre-teenage girl in a nightie drew 6.5 million views.

    By the end of last year YouTube said it had removed more than 50 user channels and has stopped running ads on more than 3.5 million videos since June.

    One of the deleted videos was the wildly popular Toy Freaks YouTube channel featuring a single dad and his two daughters.

    Though it's unclear what exact policy the channel violated, the videos showed the girls in unusual situations that often involved gross-out food play and simulated vomiting.

    The channel invented the 'bad baby' genre, and some videos showed the girls pretending to urinate on each other or fishing pacifiers out of the toilet. 

    Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5346329/YouTube-labels-state-sponsored-news-rules-tighten.html?ITO=1490

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