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YouTube To Hire More Than 10,000 Content Moderators on Staff Next Year To Stop Its Child Exploitation Problem (buzzfeed.com) 91

YouTube is adding more human moderators and increasing its machine learning in an attempt to curb its child exploitation problem, the company's CEO Susan Wojcicki said. From a report: The company plans to increase its content moderation workforce to more than 10,000 employees in 2018 in order to help screen videos and train the platform's machine learning algorithms to spot and remove problematic children's content. Sources familiar with YouTube's workforce numbers say this represents a 25% increase from where the company is today. In the last two weeks, YouTube has removed hundreds of thousands of videos featuring children in disturbing and possibly exploitative situations, including being duct-taped to walls, mock-abducted, and even forced into washing machines. The company said it will employ the same approach it used this summer as it worked to eradicate violent extremist content from the platform.

YouTube To Hire More Than 10,000 Content Moderators on Staff Next Year To Stop Its Child Exploitation Problem

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  • First, I hope they're not expecting these people to work too much. [slashdot.org] Also, the people they hire better not work too much. [slashdot.org]

  • The new, modern, low end work... with some ""technical"" skill required.
    • The new, modern, low end work... with some ""technical"" skill required.

      With no technical skill whatsoever required. They will build a simple interface that presents videos to content screeners, who will gradually come unhinged by the sick shit they have to watch and be replaced. Until they retreat into a fetal ball, the screeners will only have to click (or more likely touch) "approve" or "disapprove".

      P.S. How is "screeners" not in the mozilla dictionary? What year is it?

  • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @10:47AM (#55680067)

    If you know a more efficient way to get your kids clean, I'd like to hear it!

    Of course, it only works if you have two kids of approximately the same mass, otherwise the drum is unbalanced and the washing machine shakes pretty badly.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      If you know a more efficient way to get your kids clean, I'd like to hear it!

      Of course, it only works if you have two kids of approximately the same mass, otherwise the drum is unbalanced and the washing machine shakes pretty badly.

      A washboard saves on electricity, but gets impractical once the child reaches a certain size. Additionally, using a wringer to dry them is not recommended as it will often deform the child from it's original shape as well as damage the material.

    • If you know a more efficient way to get your kids clean, I'd like to hear it!

      Virtual score: +1, Funny.

    • Most of the kids I know have wanted to get into the washing machine or dryer at some point or another. I had a 5 minute argument with my niece trying to stop her from crawling in.
      • Yeah, most kids are like cats - they like getting into confined spaces they're not supposed to be in. Unlike cats, it's considered abuse if you leave food and water bowls and a sandbox on the floor for them and then walk away.

    • we used to take 'trips' in the dryer when we were kids... there wasn't much to do in the 70's.
      • >there wasn't much to do in the 70's

        Too young for the end of the free love era, too old to simply grow up in the 80s. At least the 80s had cocaine to make up for the AIDS. Of course, I was still too young for cocaine... Old enough to avoid the emotional impact of WWII and the Cold War, so there's that.

        Is there a good era to grow up in? I have a feeling it's pretty good to be a kid in the West right now, what with all the inexpensive electronics and such. We'll have to see if Trump manages to bring a

  • Of course they will not be used for anything we'd ever consider censorship. Promise!

  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @10:54AM (#55680113) Homepage Journal
    Google needs to stop the free ride and take responsibility for the garbage they are spewing out. There is no excuse, they have plenty of money. They can hire many more than 10,000 if they need to and review each and every video.
    • How many people does it take to look at 500+ hours of video per minute that is uploaded [tubularinsights.com] to YouTube?
      • ~30,000

        Math!

        • ~30K is many more than the 10K YouTube wants to hire.

          I'd say it's approximately thee times many more as 10K.

          • 30 thousand in real time. If you split it into 8 hour shifts, you'd need 90k plus floaters for sick days and holidays and another 1000 supervisors. And a human resources department just for the hundreds quitting and their replacements being hired every week. All of which would be rendered redundant as soon as they get the algorithm working properly to censor videos.
      • I wonder how much. It's not that you have to watch the videos.
        What you probably would do is preprocess the videos automatically. This can filter out part of the data and create a slideshow for each of the remaining videos. Using this slideshow a video can usually be dismissed in a few seconds. For those that remain a more thorough slideshow can be generated for a second check. After that a lot depends on how much false positives and false negatives you tolerate. A cheap approach would be to tolerate a lot

      • I am sure the stuff going to 'safe' sections is a lot less than that.
    • Absolutely... and unfortunately it seems to me they're just doubling down on trying to force a blacklist to work for kid content. Things like medical videos aren't "exploitative" but they don't need to be watching by 5 year olds. They need proper categorization and whitelisting, hopefully they'll use some of these people for that.
    • You have an idea there. This might be one of the better make-work program concepts since the TSA. I'm sure a lot of Dirty Old Men(tm), past the days where they can lift that bale and tote that barge, would be glad for this opportunity to watch^W fight kiddie pr0n.

  • by RedK ( 112790 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @10:56AM (#55680119)

    They do a great job demonetizing conservatives almost instantly. They also do a great job at redirecting search requests and making sure to insert Pro-progressive content into suggestions. Oh and they also do a great job randomly unsubscribing people from conservative channels, as well as simply not providing notifications.

    It's funny how Youtube is so efficient when it comes to defending their CEO's "Progressive" ideology, but are so inept at making Youtube Kids simply a curated list of channels instead of a free-for-all that requires monitoring.

    • If you start filtering videos for children then you have the system in place for the next step after that: filtering videos for adults.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @11:35AM (#55680445) Homepage Journal

      It's not just conservatives. Being gay or trans is pretty much guaranteed to get you demonetized. Being progressive or left leaning doesn't help either.

      Musicians get hit pretty badly. Their original compositions often get flagged for copyright as well as demonetized.

      It's not an anti-conservative conspiracy, it affects everyone.

      • It's not an anti-conservative conspiracy, it affects everyone.

        If it effects everyone, then it's by default an anti-nazi, err..., conservative conspiracy.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There are plenty of liberals that have demonetized. I know a few left leaning folks (that are not left enough) that don't buy into the whole SJW ideology and have made critique videos that have had their ads turned off.

      • by RedK ( 112790 )

        There are plenty of liberals that have demonetized. I know a few left leaning folks (that are not left enough) that don't buy into the whole SJW ideology and have made critique videos that have had their ads turned off.

        Anything right of Yvette Felarca is considered a conservative these days.

    • making sure to insert Pro-progressive content into suggestions

      You see a conspiracy. I see simple demographics. Most of youtube's user base is young and computer literate. That's a demographic that is naturally progressive compared to other groups.

      If you're so right-wing that you're implying youtube has a nefarious progressive political bias to it, yeah, every video might seem "pro-progressive." That's your deal, not youtube.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eaglesrule ( 4607947 )

      I suspect that just as you were unfairly downmodded for stating what has been obvious to anyone who gets a variety of viewpoints and independent news from youtube, that so-called progressives are very eager to censor any opinion that falls outside of their doctrine. So Youtube already has a volunteer army to abuse the reporting system and put a spotlight on videos for demonetization when it comes to conservatives, regardless of whether or not their algorithm dislikes the wording of the video's title.

      As an

  • Headline != summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by ToTheStars ( 4807725 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @10:56AM (#55680121)
    The headline says "hire more than 10,000", but the summary says "*increase to more than* 10,000", and TFA (yeah, I know) says this is "a 25% increase from where the company is today." So, they're actually hiring a couple thousand new workers. Given the nature of the problem, I'm not sure that increasing their content moderation staff by a factor of essentially unity (1.25x) is going to solve things -- YouTube's machine learning approach to removing violent extremist content (with all the attendant hiccups) did the equivalent of over 180,000 people working full-time -- but maybe these new 2,000 will be put to work specifically on training a machine learning algorithm for finding and removing exploitative content. (Cripes, that must be a heck of a job ad -- "Come work for YouTube! Be one of 2,000 new hires looking at sick content where kids get hurt, all for the purpose of training an AI to make yourself obsolete!")
    • Come work for YouTube! Be one of 2,000 new hires looking at sick content where kids get hurt, all for the purpose of training an AI to make yourself obsolete! We pay FIVE Dogecoins per hour! What are those? They're almost the same as Bitcoins!

  • Wouldn't they be driving the behavior underground? There needs to be investigations on the people uploading this crap.

    • VPNs are used by many now, so that probably is not possible for the vast majority of violators. But at the same time, youtube could demand better verification at sign up *for submitters*.

  • That sounds like a terrible job. They're going to need brain bleach, and they'll still slowly go crazy...

  • Using humans on this scale to train their garbage, scrambled-together AI is not going to work. The AI will make associations that aren't there and jump to conclusions based on coincidence. This is not how you train an AI and as a gigantic youtube channel owner and operations, I assure you, the AI has gotten less accurate every week since they implemented it. It's basically the "correlation is not causation" in AI form. It'll start associating the words "like and subscribe" and wearing red shirts as clues to
  • Viewing them too much can be bad for their minds. :/

There is no distinction between any AI program and some existent game.

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