YouTube is the biggest video-sharing platform, with over 2.6 billion daily active users. Although the platform does ensure the safety of its users and the type of content they watch is often regulated, the content moderation bots still lack efficiency. The bots are at it again.
After formerly including suicide instructions in children’s videos and the entire Elsagate concern, YouTube now flags a horror video as ‘for videos,’ and the worst part of it all is that it’s against the creator’s consent.
The video which was previously flagged as 18 and above on YouTube now decided that they are suitable for kids and doesn’t let the creators change the age rating.
The videos which raise questions and concerns are from the Local58TV, a horror series. Kris Straub, the creator, checked his YouTube account to discover that the videos that were previously flagged for age 18 and above are now available for kids. YouTube is also preventing him from restoring its content ratings.
What does it mean?
For Kids, means Google has flagged the particular video to be included in the YouTube Kids app. The ‘kids’ flag also denotes that the video is obliged to comply with the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA); thus, the comments are turned off for the videos.
Local58TV is a popular network with millions of views over its nine videos as the channel describes itself as the “ANALOG HORROR AT 476 MHz Unsettling shorts in the found footage/VHS aesthetic from Kris Straub.”
Its most viewed video, “Contingency,” displays a faux public service announcement from the “US Department for the Preservation of American Dignity.” claiming that the US has lost the war and to survive, you have to murder your family. It even displays the instructions, and one thing we know for sure is that this type of content isn’t suitable for kids.
YouTube’s algorithm, however, failed to understand the vibe around the channel as it automatically flagged an episode titled “show for children” as for children when its description clearly states “Not for children,” and the creator set the video age rating to 18+ when it was uploaded.
Hence, the gap between YouTube’s moderation bots and identifying the videos efficiently was visible as it not only flagged the video as appropriate but also prevented changing the settings. Thus, Google should take extra caution to ensure the safety of its users and minimize such incidents where the mistakes are truly evident.