07:17 18th Mar, 2020
Google Warns of YouTube Video Disappearances
Lack of human resources in the wake of COVID-19 could put a strain on the automated software that may pull down videos
The coronavirus pandemic is having a negative impact on YouTube, with its parent company announcing that given the shortage of human resources required to oversee problematic content, the company would be relying on automated software that may end up taking down content erroneously.
A blog post from Google says that given that the company was reducing the need for people to come to work, YouTube as well as other business divisions would be temporarily relying heavily on artificial intelligence and other automated tools to identify problematic content. Given that the software isn’t as accurate as humans, errors could occur.
The turnaround times for appeals against decisions involving such erroneous taking down of videos may also be slower, the blog post warns.
“We’ve always used a combination of humans and machines to review content on our platforms, like YouTube. We will temporarily be increasing our reliance on automated systems given this unique situation, to reduce the need for people to come into the office. Our goal is to continue to act quickly to remove content that violates our community guidelines and policies,” it says.
Google said human review of automated policy decisions also would be slower for other products and indicated that phone support would be limited. Content rules cover submissions such as ad campaigns running on the Google ad network, apps uploaded to the Google Play store and business reviews posted to Google Maps.
"Some users, advertisers, developers and publishers may experience delays in some support response times for non-critical services, which will now be supported primarily through our chat, email, and self-service channels," Google said.
Google's content review operations span several countries, including the United States, India, Singapore and Ireland.
The trio of Silicon Valley internet services giants, like many companies across the world, have asked employees and contractors to work from home if possible, aiming to slow the spread of coronavirus. Mass gatherings such as sports, cultural and religious events have been cancelled globally to combat the fast-spreading respiratory disease.
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