No, YouTube Cannot Reasonably Moderate All Content On Its Platform

from the that's-not-how-it-works dept

The UK Tech Editor of the Guardian, Alex Hern, is usually a very thoughtful and cogent commentator on all things digital. I usually enjoy reading his thoughts on technology and find them worth thinking about. However, he appears to have something of a blindspot concerning content moderation. A few weeks back we highlighted an odd tweet of his suggesting that if YouTube and Facebook simply employed ONE PERSON to search for “New Zealand terror attacks,” they could have magically deleted all of the Christchurch shooting videos:

Spoiler alert: both companies employ way more content moderators than that, and as both companies admitted soon after, it was an “all hands on deck” situation in which they sought to block as many of those videos as fast as they could.

Last week, Alex was back with another hot take on YouTube content moderation arguing that it’s totally possible to moderate all content on YouTube. Alex regularly deletes his old tweets, so here’s his thread:

And here is the text of what he said:

?There?s no way YouTube could pre-moderate every video that gets posted to its platform? is one of those things that?s said a lot, but? isn?t actually true.

YouTube sees ~400 hours of content uploaded every minute. That?s 24,000 minutes of content every minute. That means, let?s say, 30,000 people working at any given minute to watch content as it comes in.

Working eight hour shifts, and again rounding up, that?s 100,000 moderation employees. Let?s pay them well: the London living wage is just under ?20k a year. So that?s a £2b staffing bill, or $2.61bn a year. Alphabet – YouTube?s parent company – reported $30bn profit last year.

So what does ?can?t? mean in this context? Is it really unreasonable for Google to employ one fifth as many workers as Tesco? Is it really a requirement that every single video ever posted be visible within seconds of upload?

Or is it just about boosting net income as high as it will go, and pushing back against social norms that may threaten that?

The thread got tons of attention and retweets, and lots of people agreeing and promoting it. The only trouble is that it’s utter nonsense. Let’s go through the details. First, and most obviously, the 400 hours stat is old. That was based on a report in 2015. Much more recent testimony (as in, from last week before Congress) has YouTube saying “over 500 hours of video uploaded every minute.” To be conservative, let’s use the number 500, even though YouTube says it’s higher than that, and in all likelihood the number continues to grow each year. That means we’re already talking about 30,000 minutes of content added every minute. Hern talks about having 30,000 people employed at any one time to view all that content, but that makes a few assumptions that are incorrect.

First, assuming that anyone can sit there and just watch content straight for 8 hour shifts is crazy. There have already been lots of discussions about the difficult situation content moderators are in, in that reviewing content all the time is incredibly stressful, and often requires significant breaks. So even as Hern “rounds up” his numbers, we’re likely talking a much higher need for reviewers to actually cover all this content in an 8 hour day. Also, Hern assumes that a single viewing by a single individual is all that content moderation would take. That makes no sense at all. To determine if a video is appropriate often would require multiple viewings, and sometimes some level of research to understand the context/language/etc. in a video to determine whether or not it met some criteria. And let’s not leave out the ongoing training that would be required of moderators to keep up on the ever changing nature of what’s allowed/not allowed under YouTube’s terms of service. The Radiolab episode we discussed last year showed just how difficult a process it is to train moderators, and to continually update what’s allowed, as so much content falls into a “gray zone” rather than being black and white (allowed/not allowed).

So, just on that criteria alone, you’re probably talking about at least doubling the number of reviewers needed just so you’d actually have enough time to view each video enough times to fully understand what’s going on and to keep up with the rules. So now we’re talking about at least 200,000 content moderators. The last report I’ve seen says that in 2018 Google had 98,771 employees. So this alone would nearly triple its workforce.

Oh, and we’re still assuming that a single person viewing the video is all that’s needed. But that’s wrong. Last year, when we ran our “You Make the Call” game at the Content Moderation Summit in DC, one of the things we noted was that in every example we made the audience vote on, there was no uniform agreement on what content should be allowed or disallowed — even when we specifically highlighted the rule that the content likely violated. On every single example, people disagreed and had strong arguments for why some content should be allowed, while others believed it should be taken down, and vice versa.

So, at the very least you’d want at least two people to review each piece of content, but then if they disagreed, you’d probably want a third reviewer. And that assumes that a sample size of three is actually reasonable. It probably isn’t. Hell, our sample size of ~100 reviewers at the Content Moderation Summit couldn’t agree on anything, so it’s not clear how many people you’d actually need, but it’s at least double the 200,000 employees we’d already mentioned. So, no we’re talking about at least 400,000 employees, almost quintupling the size of Google’s workforce solely because sometimes a few bad videos get through the existing process.

This seems like overkill.

And, for what benefit? We’d lose out on lots of things. Contrary to Hern’s suggestion, this would certainly significantly delay the time it would take to get videos up on YouTube, which decreases the value of the platform. It would also certainly lead to much more unnecessary censorship, as moderators who are unsure of things are probably more likely to block a video from going live, rather than risking the ire of letting through a “bad” video. It would significantly limit the benefit of YouTube, but likely do very little (if anything) to curb the fact that there are assholes posting asshole-ish content online.

I’ve joked in the past that if we combine all the big questions about “the future of work” with the big questions about “content moderation,” one might create a Switftian Modest Proposal to just employ everyone in the job of moderating the content of everyone else, but that hardly seems reasonable or practical.

As I noted up top: I think Alex is one of the more reasonable and thoughtful commentators on tech. But he seems to have a significant blindspot on the realities of content moderation and how it works. I’d urge him to talk to some experts in the space, or to actually sit in with a content moderation team if they’d let him do so (these days, they’re a lot more open to letting in reporters to see just how difficult the process really is), before coming up with more hot takes on the subject.

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Companies: youtube

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Comments on “No, YouTube Cannot Reasonably Moderate All Content On Its Platform”

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Anonymous Coward says:

find out who paid the moron to come out with crap comments like these! they’re just to try to justify the EU doing whatever possible to make the Internet a nonentity, where no one can do anything on it unless they have been granted permissions from someone and where no comments that actually show what the fuckers in charge, anywhere and everywhere are up to can be spread country-wide, let alone world wide! the aim is to shut down the Internet completely and the use of terms like ‘kiddie porn’ and ‘terrorist comments’ etc are total bullshit! they are a means to an end and this started around the time of the financial crash and the ‘right to be forgotten’ law brought in by the EU. just look at what is happening now and how far the laws are being stretched, all in favor of keeping those who were in charge, able to remain in charge!

ECA (profile) says:

Re: There is a story...

A story about the First Printers..
Insted of having HAND PRINTED, Bibles..The Church, at first, Loved the printing press. Because THEY had a use for it to print little letters of forgiveness to the Rich.
They could even print out Bibles for the CHURCHES, and not need HUNDREDS of Documents and books for each Pastor..
But, then it was gotten by the Common man to READ the new and old testaments FOR HIMSELF… and the start of the separation of different ideals in the Church.
There are over 40 different Sects, of christians..(try to get them to admit to that) "WE CHRISTIANS" is a common thread, but they never asked anyone else.

Gary (profile) says:


Thanks for the expanded breakdown. As this often comes up in the comments, pre-screening all content is ludicrous.
He also compares the cost against the total budget of Alphabet, and not against the costs of operating YouTube itself.

And the same calls to screen all of Youtube/Facebook apply to screening all of Whatsapp or other chat services, since those "enable rumors" to spread quickly.

Or pre-screening all the posts on comment boards. Just one "Held for moderators" and some posters cry bloody murder around here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Screening

He also compares the cost against the total budget of Alphabet, and not against the costs of operating YouTube itself.

This is a good point. ABC doesn’t tells us much about the profitability of its individual business units. Back in 2015 analysts believed that YT wasn’t yet profitable at all. A few years later and speculation is that it has become profitable but not by a large margin. Despite the reported revenues of YT the costs are also pretty extreme. It seems there is little chance YT could afford $6b+ to hire 200,000 reviewers without posting a significant loss.

$6b still doesn’t consider the cost of housing all of those reviewers in buildings, equipping and maintaining those buildings, several tiers of management to manage all those employees, the cost of benefits and taxes for a quarter million people (this can add 20% all by itself) or any of the other costs of operating a business for that many people.


Alex regularly deletes his old tweets

Why is he so paranoid? Does he not want something he said last month to bite him in the ass this month when he’s proved wrong? Why would anyone trust anything said by such a person?

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Screening

The management is a big one that gets ignored. Generously assuming a manager can directly manage 50 people, you get:

8,000 bottom level managers
160 second level
3-ish third level
Then the boss of the whole organization.

With a probably more realistic 20 employees per manager:
Big Boss

Maybe the big boss could directly manage the top 50. Each of these tiers needs to be paid more than the preceding one. Assuming total cost to the company is double salary, and each tier gets paid 20% more than the lower one, at 20 employees per manager that’s an additional over 1 billion pounds per year.

Building cost is another great one. Buying the land, construction, furnishing, power, water, cleaning, maintenance, taxes, periodic replacing of PCs and other office equipment. Probably hundreds of millions more up front, and millions more per year, though I’m not going to do the research to figure that one out.

Tempting to put it in Bangladesh, but what kind of quality are you going to get that way?

Woody Bosk says:

Re: Screening -- Except there's NO "moderation" here, "Gary"!

Comments that for unknown reason — no, unknowable because YOU are one of those who say that Techdirt must NOT inform of what will hit the filters — go into the alleged "Held For Moderation" simply never come out of it.

And it’s not a simple text filter as the exact same text will go through with Tor Browser’s "Resend".

It’s just the usual for Techdirt: unpredictable, unnecessary, and a lie.

Woody Bosk says:

Re: Re: Screening -- Except there's NO "moderation" he

There, exactly, had you seen it: "Comment Held For Moderation", but "Resend" got it through.

Apparently it’s blocking some known IP addresses, perhaps because TOR nodes, but in any case, ALL I complain of — and inform — is that the statement Techdirt makes about it is FALSE.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Screening -- Except there's NO "moderat

That’s not how TOR works, fyi.

Who said I was talking about TOR? I believe I specifically said TD wasn’t blocking his IP.

TD may well be blocking some TOR IPs.

Maybe, maybe not. My point was TD is not blocking Woody’s posts since he "resent" it on the same IP and it went through, or is just flat out lying. Or both. Probably both.

It’s not that uncommon since only pirates and whackjobs use it

And journalists, and white hat security researchers, and people concerned about privacy, and people who live in totalitarian dictatorships, and the US government, etc…

not your most desirable audience.

Congratulations on not understanding what you are talking about and making baseless claims NOT backed up by any available facts or data.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Screening -- Except there's NO "mod

Allow me to just throw this back in your face:

Congratulations on not understanding what you are talking about and making baseless claims NOT backed up by any available facts or data.

The post you originally replied to stated that he uses TOR. By definition TD cannot even see his IP, it sees the IP of the TOR exit node. Him sending two requests in a row would look to TD like they came from two different computers.

Nice work being a moron, though. Your point was off from the beginning and I tried to point that out politely but clearly reading comprehension isn’t as strong a suit for you as stupidity.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Screening -- Except there's NO &quot

Allow me to just throw this back in your face:

You kind of dropped it before hurling it towards me. Now it’s on your face. Let me explain.

The post you originally replied to stated that he uses TOR

I am aware but that has nothing to do with anything in my response.

By definition TD cannot even see his IP

Well, now that all depends. If he is using TOR, then it can’t can’t see the IP given to him by his ISP, no, but TD CAN see the IP that TOR gave him. And THAT is what I’m talking about. Not his personal IP per se, but the IP he is presenting to TD.

Him sending two requests in a row would look to TD like they came from two different computers.

No, actually it wouldn’t. Not unless he told TOR to change his exit node. Which he could have, I suppose, but he makes no mention of it, only saying that it went through after he hit the "resend" button, which doesn’t change your IP.

Now then, let’s address the elephant in the room. There is no such thing as a "resend" button on the TOR browser. Or ANY browser for that matter. It’s completely made up by this guy. Which makes his claims all the more ludicrous, but humoring him for a moment, just hitting this "resend" button would just resend the data, it wouldn’t change your IP.

Now, some browsers will ask if you want to "confirm form resubmission" or "resend previous data" in various circumstances such as if a page errored out, or you clicked the back button or refreshed/reloaded the page. But there is no such actual, static button. And if you get the message asking if you want to confirm or resend something, that means it’s either there as a failsafe so that you don’t accidentally duplicate something or that something went wrong (connection timeout, browser hang, etc…) and usually has nothing to do with the website itself.

So to reiterate, him clicking a non-existent button would NOT in ANY way cause his IP that he presents to TD (via TOR or otherwise) to change. So he either left out the bit about him forcibly changing his exit node, or he’s a liar. Likely the latter since he’s created a button out of thin air.

Nice work being a moron, though.

Well I think I’ve shown that would actually be you and the AC I was replying to but nice try on the burn.

Your point was off from the beginning

No, it was on point at all times. You either don’t understand what you are talking about or are lying, same as the AC.

I tried to point that out politely

There was nothing polite about your reply. You literally stated that the only people who use TOR were "pirates and whackjobs", which is in no way being polite. It’s also blatantly untrue and shows you either don’t know what you are talking about or are lying.

clearly reading comprehension isn’t as strong a suit for you as stupidity.

This is hilarious coming from someone who has no idea how basic web browsers work, much less TOR. So are you ignorant or lying? You choose. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but making blatantly ignorant/false statements and then calling me stupid for pointing it out is not helping your case.

Gary (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Screening --Trolls

So you admit to making multiposts, and complaining at even the slightest hint of moderation.
These are the kinda things that get you flagged as an annoyance.

Please show us Your website, where we can post without fear of moderation?

Oh – it doesn’t exist!

1) Can’t exist, because you are all hot air and can’t make the effort to run your own site.
2) Can’t exist because you live in your parents basement.
3) Can’t exist because that would require you to use email and the Google would spy on you.

That about cover it Blue Balls? Or should I call you something else?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Screening --Trolls

"His page exists at"

We used to call that at Torrentfreak, whenever Bobmail’s commentary was too obvious about his input/output process running in a closed loop.

The good thing about it, however, is that this has ensured his venomous diatribe is consistent enough to be recognizable no matter the name he puts on his latest sock puppet.

PaulT (profile) says:

I’m intrigued by his financial reasoning too. He’s taking the "living wage" for his calculations? So, he’s both arguing that moderators should be housed in one of the most expensive cities in the world and that they should be paid barely above minimum wage?

"Is it really unreasonable for Google to employ one fifth as many workers as Tesco?"

Not if the job’s not necessary, no. There’s a reason they use algorithms for their search functions while Tesco can’t do the same to stock their shelves. What’s the problem with a tech company using tech instead of meat bags? Number of employees has to be the dumbest anti-Google argument I’ve heard yet.

What a bunch of truly stupid reasoning, though I take that the last comment means that now he’s been faced with the stupidity he just spouted he’ll ignore any further corrections and repeat it next time.

Bobvious says:

Gulliver's Travels

I was reminded of the (perhaps apocryphal) scene in Gulliver’s Travels where lots of tiny people manage to overpower Gulliver. So it is easy to imagine how one person tasked with "stopping all evil" would become overwhelmed by infinitely incremental increases in the amount of it.

And then I got to the bit where you mentioned Johnathan Swift’s Modest Proposal. Truly there is nothing new under the sun.

Of course, Alex Hern may have just forgotten to use the /sarc /parody tag.

Bobvious says:

Re: Re: Gulliver's Travels

Ah yes. Just like being in a room full of drunks playing "win the argument", where a topic is argued until someone loses the argument, so they simply change topic and try to win something else. Rinse and repeat.

A famous example was about religion, so they trotted out " did you know scientists have discovered the God particle?"

Oh boy!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Eventually... doesn't this just lead to

The predominate form of class warfare is monetary in nature.
It takes money to "moderate".

The class of people who presently and will continue to be in charge of dictating what the rest of us can see … is the rich and influential. Not sure if this is a subclass of "elite". Usually elite refers to college educated.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: You missed...

It goes even further than that. Not only is the language an issue, but the content as well. Is this medical video okay, or is it endorsing snake oil? Is this engineering video okay, or is it con artists trying to sell a perpetual motion machine? Is this biography okay, or it is libelous/slanderous/defamation?

It goes on and on and on… you’ll need at least as many experts on EVERY subject to sort and vet each video.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!!!1111!!!11!11!!!!

I know, I’ll blame the platform!
It’s trendy, it riles people up, it gets me noticed.

Perhaps the problem isn’t the platforms, its the asshats posting to them… perhaps go after the asshats themselves instead of expecting the giant monolith to make sure you are never offended or upset.

Some people wanted to see the stream, most people did not.
People are more offended by the idea that some people wanted to see it and repost it than it was created.

Consider how all of the commentary has been about punishing the platforms for not hiring half of the worlds population to watch the other half of the population
rather than admitting we have racists in the world
rather than admitting for all of the spying on citizens for our own safety it has a big white blind spot
rather than admitting that we should discuss the hard subjects, rather than demand the world be filtered to please us

Tech can not wave its wand and solve all of the problems of the world. The simple fact that more and more people are falling into the tech will save us trap should be a huge warning as to how fucked we are. Perhaps instead of cheering them on when they claim their law is stronger than mathematics, we need to mock them for failing to do anything but trying shift the blame for their absolute failure to deal with issues.

Bamboo Harvester (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Blaming the platform is nothing new.

Some idiot says something stupid on TV, and who gets fined?

It’s not the ignorant idiot who said it, it’s the TV show / station / network.

The internet platforms fight against falling under Common Carrier status (which is what sane people DO want – a dumb pipe), then scream when they’re sued in a case where Common Carrier status would have protected them – like the US Mail or pre-internet Ma Bell.

As to all your "half the world" mentions, that won’t ever change. Get any two random people together and they’ll judge each other.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Some idiot says something stupid on TV, and who gets fined?"

Generally speaking, they would be fined because the person was hired by the TV station in some way or that they provably failed to take the required steps to ensure they didn’t broadcast that sort of thing (assuming it wasn’t a scripted show).

That’s somewhat different to holding them accountable for the actions of people who happened to wander onto their property.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It wasn’t about people judging each other, it was the idea that to monitor everything you have to hire half of the worlds population to watch what the other half are doing to make sure no one is offended.

We have turned shifting the blame to the deeper pockets into a cottage industry.
Sued Apple over a patent they never brought to market b/c it would have kept their kid from texting while driving and killing people.
Sued Grindr over the antics of a crazy ex-bf, but it appears never filed a police report about what he did… but found some magical way to blame the geolocation feature for causing the problems will absolving the crazy ex who kept posting the ads.
Sued Snapchat b/c if they hadn’t made the filter that kicked in at an unsafe speed, their child wouldn’t have broken the law to reach that speed & get the filter.

We need to bring back personal responsibility.
When a kid hits another kid with a stick, we need to stop campaigning to outlaw all wood. We need to punish the kid who swung the stick & teach them actions have consequences, not art therapy where we encourage him to draw his feelings about the big bad stick that forced him to swing it.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Another thing: who are all these tens/hundreds of thousands of moderators going to report to? His number seems to be assuming that there is no hierarchy or overhead involved; no management coordinating them, no HR or Payroll people dealing with the details of their employment, etc, and neither does Mike’s analysis. So the number of people actually required is significantly higher still!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

This is a misconception all too common in tech. Agile != management. Standups are for the team to keep each other abreast of progress or roadblocks. Management is about people and has very little to do with day to day project progress.

Far too many software "managers" are just project managers. In software there is very little in the way of people management.

But then content reviewers aren’t programmers and it’s a shitty job. Actual management will be required.

Anonymous Coward says:

authoritarianism always breeds defiance

The biggest problem that pro-censorship people never seem to understand is that the harder they work to censor the internet, the harder the anti-censorship forces will work to defeat their efforts.

That banned Christchurch video has now been popping up in all sorts of places where such content would not normally be posted.

Fuck Off, New Zealand Police! – [0/9] – "That New Zealand Mosque Mass Shooting Facebook Live Video That a Bunch of Filthy Commies Are Trying to Censor From the Internet.nzb

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"some nobody that nobody knows or cares about"

Heh. Pot. Black, etc.

Anyway, whatever the guy’s words in this case, he’s not "some random guy", he’s the UK tech editor for one of the UK’s most respected journalistic outlets (although, given the tabloidy competition, that may not be a high bar.

No matter what else you want to say about him, his words would generally carry slightly more weight than some, even if he’s obviously wrong in this case.

Treebeard says:

Re: Re: Re:

"some nobody that [a] nobody knows or cares about"

Masnick is the nobody who’s referenced. He digs this useless crap up from tiny crevices of the internet.

This’ll be over soon. Meanwhile, is Masnick using his precious time on Facebook’s latest flap that only affects a couple billion people? No.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, really, I’m seriously leaving this time.

Did you hear me? I’m leaving!

Just checking in. I wasn’t sure if maybe the internet was out and you didn’t see that I was leaving.

Guys, it’s really difficult to feel self-important when you ignore how significant it is that I’m leaving.

You’re all stupid poopyheads and I’m taking my ball and going home! Maybe.

Solutions? says:


Having it be geographic region vs worldwide could help improve moderation.

Think of a bullseye target with the center being the original video post. For those living in that connected region you see the content minutes after the post.

The second layer out has a delay of x hours.

The third layer out has a delay of x days.

Anonymous Coward says:

it might be higher than that ,there would be moderators needed in different languages ,used in the EU
its not reasonable to say that youtube should employ 200k moderators
.Also its not just violent or terrorist content,
under article 13 it, will need to check for infringement ,
eg does this video contain infringing music ,or video clips from film or tv programs ?
Many streamers play games with licensed music in them.
Music thAT game dev paid for as part the game sound track .
Also some people play music in the backround of random videos while they are talking.
Youtube is a very valuable resource for free speech ,education, entertainment and as a venue for indie artists and singers .
No one even knows right now will be passed in various eu countrys
to put article 13 into force ,
Will youtube have to go by the strictest laws passed in france or germany

Anonymous Coward says:

Clown world.

I’m actually warming to the idea of cutting regions off from the internet. Europe wants to go draconian? That’s cool. Cut them clean and continue operating under American laws and social norms.

Or secondary shadow internet for within-America only. This framework would increase confidence that the hate filled political commentary you’re often faced with today is at least a US view. Today I often can’t tell.

Berenerd (profile) says:

I am not sure he realizes that with the greatness of the information super highway, you will get people posting videos. Hell, Does he know how many sites that are not Youtube and facebook that had those images? If every site hired the needed man power, everyone in the world would be able to hold down 2 full time jobs!
He only mentioned the Median pay, he doesn’t add in costs for benefits. I hate big corporations but fight the battles where they need to be fought, this is not it. There are far worse things on the internet than that.

mephistophocles (profile) says:

Obvious answers...

Sometimes the most obvious and simple answer is the right one. Comprehensive, foolproof content moderation, on an open platform the size of youtube, is impossible.

Therefore: This whole discussion is moot. We can either have open platforms like Youtube and accept that people might see offensive shit sometimes, and be ok with that, or we can destroy open platforms like Youtube (in any number of ways) and therefore a lot of beautiful things (like freedom) in the process, and be ok with the collateral. There’s no middle ground.

I’ll just submit for consideration – it really isn’t any easier for kids to view porn and gore now than it ever was, if their parents care about their well being at all. It’s just as hard for a kid to sneak a look at a PC in a closet as it was to sneak a look at Penthouse in a closet 30 years ago. This problem isn’t new. All that changed is the medium – it’s being used as an excuse to remove a freedom that was always there before, and society was no worse off for having.

Rod Fishin says:

Your unalterable position is corporate profits over all else.

Youtube’s "business model" is not guaranteed any more than for makers of content.

The unprecedented-for-good-reason exemptions made for "Internet" corporations are not handed down from God on titanium tablets.

If there’s too much — whether good or bad — then they can simply endure delays like every other business.

Since We The People allow Youtube to not only exist in first place but give it special exemptions that never were / are not available to print media, we can certainly adjust details that after two decades are proven to have bad results.

Reasonable measures should have been done all along by the excessively profitable corporations now saying impossible to stop, NOT let get out of control. Humans never learn, and masnicks always try to prevent reasonable measures.

As for rest: you’re simply indiscriminately mixing marginal and OBVIOUS cases to excuse total inaction. That’s your on-going schtick on this topic, will not change.

You’re not here to discuss, not going to change your view that corporate profits — which you explicitly worry over with numbers here — are the sole factor to be considered.

-m-a-s-n-i-c-k-s -h-a-t-e -r-u-l-e-s -e-s-p -h-o-r-i-z-o-n-t-a-l-s

By the way, this neatly shows Techdirt’s wacky extremes: Masnick wants videos of murders to stay up, but won’t allow ME even to use horizontal rules! Sheesh.

(I try to always test that to see if relented, and are three dashes above my sub.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No, it's not.

Youtube’s "business model" is not guaranteed any more than for makers of content.

No, their profits aren’t guaranteed. Their business model is perfectly legal and guaranteed under the First Amendment of the US Constitution bolstered by Section 230.

The unprecedented-for-good-reason exemptions made for "Internet" corporations are not handed down from God on titanium tablets.

So you admit there are good reasons internet corporations are allowed to operate the way they do? Glad we agree. Can you shut up now?

If there’s too much — whether good or bad — then they can simply endure delays like every other business.

That’s not how other businesses work. EVERY business is always searching for ways to remove delays. But the delays you are talking about here don’t directly affect Youtube, they affect the content creators who upload to Youtube because their content could get held for moderation for an undetermined amount of time.

That would kill off most content creator channels who rely on regularly scheduled postings (which is most of them). Besides that, IT’S NOT YOUTUBE’S JOB TO POLICE WHAT THEIR USER’S UPLOAD. It’s the user’s job. Youtube only comes into the mix if they find or are made aware of illegal content.

Since We The People allow Youtube to not only exist in first place

We do nothing of the sort. They have a right to exist and do business, just like the rest of us.

give it special exemptions that never were / are not available to print media

Because print media doesn’t work the same as the internet. If it did, then you might have a point. And it REALLY depends on what print media you are talking about. The classifieds section in newspapers is about the closest thing you can get to user generated content in print media, and that is pretty much unmoderated, with some narrow exceptions.

we can certainly adjust details that after two decades are proven to have bad results.

And what bad results would those be? That after thousands of years, humans can still be jerks and do vile, disgusting things?

Reasonable measures should have been done all along

Such as?

by the excessively profitable corporations

Who weren’t always excessively profitable, Youtube in particular.

now saying impossible to stop

As far as I know they aren’t saying that. Though I will, it’s impossible to stop because you are trying to moderate out bad human behavior at a technical level without addressing the root cause, which is the humans engaging in bad behavior.

Humans never learn

So then why are we even having this discussion? If humans are just going to continue doing the same bad things, then it doesn’t matter how much moderation you do, there’s always going to somebody else doing something bad that’s going to slip through. Something something doing the same thing over and over again, etc….

masnicks always try to prevent reasonable measures.

What about trying to hold for moderation 720,000 minutes or 12,000 hours of new uploaded content a day is in any way reasonable?

As for rest: you’re simply indiscriminately mixing marginal and OBVIOUS cases to excuse total inaction.

And you’re just spouting out word salad nonsense.

That’s your on-going schtick on this topic, will not change.

Are you omniscient and prescient that you can make this assertion?

You’re not here to discuss

Gee, wonder why there’s an open comment section then.

not going to change your view that corporate profits — which you explicitly worry over with numbers here — are the sole factor to be considered.

You obviously did not read the article because that is not the SOLE factor stated at all.

By the way, this neatly shows Techdirt’s wacky extremes: Masnick wants videos of murders to stay up, but won’t allow ME even to use horizontal rules!

Get your own graph paper then. Then you can use horizontal, vertical, or any other rules you want.

I try to always test that to see if relented, and are three dashes above my sub.

English. Learn to write it properly.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Your unalterable position is corporate profits over all else

You are ignoring that edited content companies, i.e. news papers, book publishers, record labels, and studios do not even get round to looking at 90% plus of the content submitted for publication. If everything was moderated, you would likely be silenced, along with most of the rest of humanity, and most of the profit from content would be kept by the corporations, requiring most creators to keep their day jobs.

Gary (profile) says:

Re: Your unalterable Troll

By the way, this neatly shows Techdirt’s breadth of discussion, while I can’t bother to respond to my critics because I’m too awesome.

We get it Blue Balls – You can’t stand that we can downvote you, so you run off to your awesome and wonderful Sod Cit boards where everyone echoes you.

I mean, you are loved by someone, right?

Print media is not like Facebook, because my local newspaper doesn’t allow anyone in the world to post stories in their paper.
On Facebook, anyone with a valid email address can post whatever they want.

What? You don’t have email because The Man will use it as evidence in a court of law? Oh.

Please show us your blog, with no content moderation, where free speech rules. It must exist – you complain so loudly that TD isn’t doing it right. So therefore you must be willing to stand u[ and do it the right way.

What…? Crickets!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: I'd pay $150/monthly for properly monitored youtube.

It’s an unusual flavor of sarcasm that states

I’d pay $150/monthly for properly monitored youtube if it inconveniences even one terrorist.

That’s not really even sarcasm. I’m not sure what it is, apart from either a misguided attempt at humor or a statement of fact from an anti-230’er.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: I'd pay $150/monthly for properly monitored youtube.

"If somebody uses the phrase "think of the children," it’s sarcasm."

Or it’s some political shitweasel trying to have their shady agenda ride the coattails of a one-liner no one can reasonably oppose without falling victim to the first smear campaign.

Poe’s Law ensures anyone trying to use a copyright cult slogan sarcastically just sounds like a bona fide copyright cultist.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"And then all of this is based on the assumed false premise that Youtube should pre-censor videos in the first place."

An assumed false premise which thanks to article 13(17) will be the law of the land soon in europe.

Hopefully the resulting train wreck will ensure the next batch of politicians end up wise enough to be very careful about sweeping legislation impacting the main communications medium in modern time.

Zof (profile) says:


Imagine trying to moderate any platform when childish journalists can call up the Southern Poverty Law Center and get clowns declared a "nazi symbol". I wish I was making that up. Yeah. Imagine being YouTube and having to take down 50 billion clown videos because some childish losers in the Media declare everything they are called nazi hate speech.

blademan9999 (profile) says:

Another thing

When calculating his figure of 100,000 people needed. He forgets that people don’t work every day. Forgetting about weekends and holdiays.
Really assuming each worker 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year a standard work years contains 2000 hours.
Ann average year has 365.242524=8765.82 hours. 8,765.82/2000=4.38291. 4.3829130,000=131,487.3 workers.

John85851 (profile) says:

Just one person to remove all content from reporters

Here’s a huge hole in his idea that I came up with in the time I took me to read his tweet:
Hire one person -just one- to search for the New Zealand shooting and delete anything that’s returned.

Okay, good bye BBC reporting. Good bye CNN, MSNC, and Fox videos reporting on it.
Good bye media websites.
Good bye to users sharing videos from the BBC, CNN, and so on. (And don’t forget that these users will get a black mark on their record for sharing illegal content.)

Because remember that this "just one" person doesn’t have a supervisor or anyone else to help him make judgment calls. His job is to delete everything.

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