Tag Archives: YouTube

YouTube Turns Off Comments on Videos of Children



YouTube posted an update on their Creator Blog that provides an explanation of their actions related to the safety of minors. YouTube has disabled comments on videos featuring minors.

Over the past week, we disabled comments from tens of millions of videos that could be subject to predatory behavior. These efforts are focused on videos featuring young minors and we will continue to identify videos at risk over the next few months. Over the next few months, we will be broadening this action to suspend comments on videos featuring young minors and videos featuring older minors that could be at risk of attracting predatory behavior.

YouTube states that “a small number of creators” will be able to keep comments enabled on their videos that include minors. Those channels will be required to actively moderate their comments, beyond just using YouTube’s moderating tools and must demonstrate a low risk of predatory behavior.

YouTube has been “removing hundreds of millions of comments for violating our policies.” They have launched a more effective classifier that will identify and remove predatory comments. The classifier does not affect the monetization of a video. The new classifier can detect and remove 2X more individual comments.

The Guardian has information of what happened that led to YouTube’s decision. It is a disturbing situation, and it might be better for some people to avoid reading those details.

The situation prompted an advertiser boycott of YouTube. The Verge reported that major corporations like Disney, Nestlé and Epic Games (maker of Fortnite) had paused their ad spending after discovering their ads were playing on videos that had predatory comments on them.

It is possible that the advertiser boycott was what influenced YouTube to take additional steps to protect minors. Even so, it is good that those protections are now being put in place. In addition to removing comments, YouTube has terminated channels that attempt to endanger children in any way.


Google Provided Details About How it Fights Disinformation



Google presented a white paper titled “How Google Fights Disinformation” at the Munich Security Conference. The white paper provides details about Google’s work to tackle the spread of misinformation – across Google Search, Google News, YouTube and their advertising systems.

One thing Google is doing is giving users more context. Here is how they do that:

  • “Knowledge: or “Information” Panels in Google Search and YouTube, providing high-level facts about a person or issue.
  • Making it easier to discover the work of fact-checkers on Google Search or Google News, by using labels or snippets making it clear to users that a specific piece of content is a fact-checking article
  • A “Full Coverage” function in Google News enabling users to access a non-personalized, in-depth view of a news cycle at the tap of a finger
  • “Breaking News” and “Top News” shelves, and “Developing News” information panels on YouTube, making sure that users are exposed to news content from authoritative sources when looking for information about ongoing news events
  • Information panels providing “Topical Context” and “Publisher Content” on YouTube, providing users with contextual information from trusted sources to help them be more informed consumers of content on the platform. These panels provide authoritative information on well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation online and on the sources of news content, respectively.
  • “Why this ad?” labels enabling users to understand why they’re presented with a specific ad and how to change their preferences so as to alter personalization of the ads they are shown, or to opt out of personalized ads altogether
  • In-ad disclosures and transparency reports on election advertising, which are rolling out during elections in the US, Europe and India as a starting point

Google is also empowering users to let them know when they are getting it wrong by using feedback buttons across Search, YouTube, and Google’s advertising products to flag content that might be violating Google’s policies.

In addition, Google is partnering with outside experts. Some of those experts include:

  • First Draft Coalition (which Google helped launch) – a non-profit that convenes news organizations and technology companies to tackle the challenges around combating disinformation online – especially in the run-up to elections
  • Trust Project (which Google is a founding member of) – explores how journalism can signal its trustworthiness online. The Trust Project developed eight indicators of trust that publishers can use to better convey why their content should be seen as credible, with promising results for the publishers who have trialed them.
  • Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) – a non-partisan organization gathering fact-checking organizations from the United States, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, India, and more.

In regard to political ads, the white paper says: “Finally, in order to help understand the context for the election-related ads they see online, we require additional verification for advertisers who wish to purchase political ads in the United States, provide transparency about the advertiser to the user, and have established an online transparency report and creative repository on US federal elections.”

There are a lot more details in the white paper than I have posted here. Overall, it appears to be a good start at fighting disinformation across Google’s products. Part of the white paper mentions “deep fakes”, which will likely be difficult to combat. Google is clearly aware of how malicious actors could use it, and seems to be at least attempting to get ahead of that.


YouTube TV is Going Nationwide



YouTube announced announced some exciting news for cord cutters. As of today, YouTube is in the process of making YouTube TV available nationwide. They have launched this expansion to be available in time for Super Bowl 2019.

YouTube TV is rolling out to 95 markets starting today, covering 98 percent of households in the United States. The remainder will follow shortly thereafter.

Will it be in your area? YouTube has a FAQ that lists where YouTube TV will be available as of January 23, 2019. The same FAQ page shows the full list of available channels.

YouTube TV includes:

  • Over 60 networks, such as ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Plus, popular cable networks like TNT, TBS, CNN, ESPN, FX and on-demand programming
  • A cloud DVR with no storage space limits. This enables subscribers to record live TV and never run out of storage space. Also, you can record shows simultaneously without using data or space on your device.
  • The ability to watch YouTube TV on any screen – mobile devices, tablets, computers and TVs
  •  accounts per household. Every YouTube TV membership comes with six accounts, each with its own unique recommendations and a personal DVR with no storage space limits
  • Half the cost of cable with zero commitments. A YouTube TV membership is only $40 a month and there are no commitments – you can cancel anytime.

Personally, I think anything that gives people the ability to drop their cable subscription is a good thing. YouTube TV is definitely going to be competition for the cable TV companies. Ideally, this will influence those cable companies to be better. If not… there’s still YouTube TV.

YouTube TV is clearly pitching itself as a great place to watch the Super Bowl. I think this will provide a “trial by fire” test for YouTube TV. Will things go smoothly for viewers, or will there be lag and connection drops because of the number of people trying to watch the game?


YouTube Introduces the Copyright Match Tool



YouTube has introduced a new way for copyright owners to protect their work. It is called the Copyright Match Tool. It is designed to find re-uploads of your content on other channels.

Here’s how it works: after you upload a video, YouTube will scan other videos uploaded to YouTube to see if any of them are the same or very similar. When there is a match, it will appear in the “matches” tab in the tool and you can decide what to do next.

YouTube says they have been testing the Copyright Match Tool with creators for nearly a year to make it safe and effective for the whole community.

Here is what you need to know about how the Copyright Match Tool:

  • It is important that you’re the first person to upload your video to YouTube. The time of the upload is how YouTube determines who should be shown matches.
  • This tool is intended to find full re-uploads. If you find a clip of your content that you’d like removed, you can always report it via the copyright webform.
  • Once the tool has found a match, you can chose either to do nothing, to get in touch with the other creator, or request that YouTube remove the video. When you request removal you can do so with or without a 7-day delay to allow the uploader to correct the issue themselves. Takedown requests will be reviewed to make sure they comply with YouTube’s copyright policies.
  • Before taking action, YouTube asks that you carefully evaluate each match to confirm that you own the rights to the matched content and ensure that you believe it infringes on your copyright. YouTube says you should not file a copyright takedown request for content that you do not own exclusively, such as public domain content.
  • YouTube also says you should consider whether the matched content could be considered fair use or could be subject to some other exceptions to copyright and hence not require permission for reuse.

According to YouTube, the Copyright Match Tool is not Content ID. It says the Copyright Match Tool “does use similar technology used by Content ID, but the Copyright Match Tool is a unique tool designed especially for YouTube creators who have problems with unauthorized re-uploads.”

YouTube will start rolling out the Copyright Match Tool next week to creators with more than 100k subscribers. They are intending to monitor usage closely. YouTube will expand the Copyright Match Tool “over the next coming months” with the long-term goal of making it available to every creator in the YouTube Partner program.

I can see the potential for the Copyright Match Tool to help creators. But, I can also have some concerns.

If some steals your content from somewhere outside of YouTube, and posts it to YouTube before you can, it appears YouTube will consider the thief to be the rightful owner of the content instead of the actual creator.


YouTube Changed Partner Program Eligibility Requirements



YouTube has made changes to its YouTube Partner Program (YPP) that it feels will better protect creators. The change in eligibility requirements for the YouTube Partner Program makes it much harder for creators with smaller fan bases to continue making money on YouTube.

In a Creator Blog post, YouTube explains that the changes were being made so they can “prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube.”

At a glance, this sounds like a reasonable thing to do. We’ve all heard about some “bad actors” who have become notorious after creating videos with despicable content. YouTube also has had problems with videos aimed at kids that included content that was not appropriate for children. Nobody wants those kinds of videos to be on YouTube.

In April of 2017, YouTube set a YouTube Partner Program eligibility requirement of 10,000 lifetime views. As of January 16, 2018, YouTube changed that requirement:

Starting today we’re changing the eligibility requirement for monetization to 4,000 hours of watchtime in the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. We’ve arrived at these new thresholds after thorough analysis and conversations with creators like you….

…On February 20th, 2017, we’ll also implement this threshold across existing channels on the platform, to allow for a 30 day grace period. On that date, channels with fewer than 1,000 subs or 4,000 watch hours will no longer be able to earn money on YouTube. When they reach 1,000 subs and 4,000 watch hours they will be automatically re-evaluated under strict criteria to ensure they comply with our policies. New channels will need to apply and their application will be evaluated when they hit these milestones.

New creators, and smaller creators, might not have 1,000 subscribers.They may struggle to get 4,000 hours of watchtime over the past 12 months – and to keep meeting that goal. It would have been better if YouTube could have found a way to get rid of “bad actors” without punishing creators who were following the rules.


YouTube Introduces YouTube TV



YouTube announced that they are bringing the best of the YouTube experience to live TV. This comes after consumers told YouTube that they want TV to be more like YouTube.

YouTube TV is designed for those who want to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, and without commitments. This might be something good for people who don’t want to pay for a Cable subscription plan.

YouTube TV offers live TV streaming from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, regional sports networks, and dozens of popular cable networks. This includes shows like “Empire”, “The Voice”, “The Big Bang Theory” and “Scandal”.

YouTube TV includes major sports networks like ESPN and regional sports networks like Fox Sports Networks and Comcast SportsNet. This will enable users to watch their favorite local NBA or MLB teams on YouTube TV.

It also offers dozens of cable channels. The announcement mentioned MSNBC, Fox News, USA, FX, Disney Channel, Sprout, E!, and Bravo. You can add Showtime, or Fox Soccer Plus for an additional charge.

YouTube TV offers a cloud DVR with no storage limits. You can record as many live TV shows as you want, and never run out of storage. Your cloud DVR can record shows simultaneously without using data or space on your phone, and YouTube will store each of your recordings for nine months.

You can watch YouTube TV on any screen – mobile, tablet, or computer – and stream to your TV with a Google Chromecast or Chromecast built-in TV. YouTube TV works on both Android and iOS, and your cloud DVR goes with you so you can stream your recordings on any device.

With a YouTube TV membership, you can watch all YouTube Red Original series and movies right on the new YouTube TV app. Every YouTube TV membership comes with six accounts, each with it’s own unique recommendations and personal DVR with no storage limits. You can watch up to three concurrent streams at a time.

As you might expect, YouTube TV is not free. A YouTube TV membership is $35 a month. There are no commitments and you can cancel any time. The service is being rolled out. Visit tv.youtube.com to find out when it will launch in your market.


YouTube is Adding Four Original Series for Kids



YouTube announced that their Original Content team, under Susan Daniels, is adding four new Original series to YouTube Red. The new series are created with the YouTube Kids app in mind. These four new series will debut in the spring. Additional shows are in development and will premier throughout 2017.

The new series will feature DanTDM, Joe and Cody of TheAtlanticCraft, popular tween music act L2M, and Fruit Ninja. This is the first time YouTube Red has invested in creators who are producing original programming for family audiences.

Hyperlinked – This series is inspired by a true story. It stars music sensation L2M. It follows five girls as they come together to create their own website by girls for girls. They also have to navigate everyday tween issues involving friends and relationships.

DanTDM Creates A Big Scene – DanTDM and his lively group of animated friends battle mayhem and misadventure to keep their brand new live show on the road. Each episode follows their behind-the-scenes exploits as they learn new skills, overcome challenges, and find that putting on an epic show isn’t as easy as it looks.

The Kings of Atlantis – This is an epic animated series that follows two young monarchs – Cody and Joe- in the vast underwater city of Atlantis as they seek to overthrow the brutal usurper of their kingdom, reclaim their birthright, and protect their people from his cruel reign.

Fruit Ninja: Frenzy Force – Four Fruit Ninjas set up a juice stand as a front for the messiest secret service in the world. The new Fruit Ninja characters – Seb, Niya, Peng, and Ralph – come together to fight the evil forces of Durian Grey and Deep Fried Samauri.

YouTube Kids is also coming soon to Smart TVs. The YouTube Kids app will be available soon for download on a number of internet-connected LG and Samsung Smart TVs.