YouTube announces new policies against hate speech and conspiracy theories

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The changes go into effect on June 5. What you need to know YouTube is prohibiting videos that discriminate groups of people. It'...

The changes go into effect on June 5.

What you need to know

  • YouTube is prohibiting videos that discriminate groups of people.
  • It's removing content that denies well-documented events.
  • YouTube plans on expanding tools that limit recommendations of misinformative videos.

YouTube often finds itself changing policies in the event of a controversy, and that's exactly what's happening once again. Following an ongoing dispute over hate speech, YouTube published a blog post on June 5 titled, "Our ongoing work to tackle hate."

A lot of the blog is simply highlighting YouTube's progress to keep hate off the platform, such as making 30 related policy changes in 2018 and reducing views of hate speech videos by 80% in 2017.

With that said, there are a couple of new things to keep an eye out for — one of which is prohibiting videos that discriminate against different groups of people.

Today, we're taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. This would include, for example, videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory.

YouTube says it's also now removing content from the site that denies violent events. Two examples of this include videos denying the Holocaust or the infamous Sandy Hook shooting.

YouTube does acknowledge that these videos can be important to groups/people that are trying to understand hate in order to combat it, and on that note, says it's, "exploring options to make [the videos] available in the future."

For these two things, YouTube is enforcing the policy as of June 5 and says that it'll ramp up coverage of it over the coming months.

YouTube goes on to talk about a system it started testing this past January that limits recommendations of videos that spread misinformation — such as ones that claim the earth is flat or promote fake miracle drugs. After reducing views of these videos by 50% during the testing phase in the U.S., YouTube plans on expanding it to more countries this year.

Lastly, YouTube channels that are part of the site's Partner Program will be further reprimanded for breaking these policies. According to YouTube:

Channels that repeatedly brush up against our hate speech policies will be suspended from the YouTube Partner program, meaning they can't run ads on their channel or use other monetization features like Super Chat.

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