SAN BRUNO, CA – Starting this May, YouTube will reportedly no longer allow individual persons to be part of their “Trusted Flagger” program when it comes to flagging content on the platform, instead having non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government agencies tackle that effort moving forward.
The Trusted Flagger program from YouTube was initially launched in 2012 and had allowed individuals and the likes of NGOs and government agencies to participate in the effort to flag videos on the platform that are believed to have violated YouTube’s guidelines – but now individuals are out of the picture.
It was in October of 2021 that reports first started circulating that the Trusted Flagger program appeared to be shifting away from individuals participating in the effort. One of the individual Trusted Flaggers claimed last October that there was gradual decline in communication from YouTube’s management starting in 2020 and continued to get worse.
At first, YouTube was telling the individual Trusted Flaggers that this was merely due to the pandemic – but eventually let the cat out of the bag and admitted they’re doing away with individual Trusted Flaggers and leaving the responsibility solely to NGOs and government agencies.
In a statement from YouTube spokesperson Jack Malon regarding the shift in this program, he claimed that YouTube’s artificial intelligence will be able to do most of the heavy lifting moving forward while expanding relationships with NGOs and government outfits “who have deep knowledge in fields like misinformation and hate speech.”
“Over the past few years, we’ve made significant technical improvements to our automated flagging system, and in Q4 of 2021, 92% of videos removed from YouTube were first detected automatically.
“In an effort to continue improving these systems, we’re revamping our Trusted Flagger program to focus on the expansion of partnerships with specialized organizations who have deep knowledge in fields like misinformation and hate speech, which we view as an important component to our systems in the future.”
While individual users of YouTube can still report content that may violate YouTube’s guidelines, no single individual outside of these preferred NGOs and government agencies will have access to the specialized reporting tools or a direct point of contact with a YouTube official to navigate such matters.
The complete ousting of all individual Trusted Flaggers will reportedly commence on May 27th.
Outside of altering the specially endowed entities behind flagging content on YouTube, the platform is also crafting updates to “improve the flagging experience for everyone” who uses the platform.
When a user reports content that may have violated YouTube’s guidelines, those users will receive notifications informing them of YouTube’s decision on the flagged content – a feature sounding somewhat similar to Facebook’s already existing feature with content reporting.
Additionally, YouTube is also expanding abilities around users to report comments on videos that may violate YouTube guidelines.