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YouTube walks from one safety issue into another

What to do about dodgy stuff on YouTube?

Not so long ago the “brand safety” issue was dodgy videos next to ads, now it’s dodgy (and worse) comments on videos featuring children. Not usually adjacent to a brand.

Clearly policing comments is more of a bind than the videos themselves although other sites (like MAA) manage it OK – even though, perhaps, we get get slightly less.

The battle, really, is between getting people to do it (obviously you’d need lots, which would cost) and upgrading the technology, YouTube’s preferred option. You can ban certain words, of course but there’s always a way around that. And do we really want a world where algorithms can purport to measure intent?

Here’s a succinct summary of the problem from the BBC, featuring ad “power broker” Johnny Hornby (their words).

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