It's this time of year to look back on 2019. Given that YouTube is unable to curb harassment on platforms, it's probably no surprise that it is updating its harassment policy.
Matt Halprin, YouTube's global leader for trust and security, said the new policy will "… ban not only explicit threats, but also veiled or implicit threats. This includes content that simulates violence against a person or language that suggests that physical violence might occur. He added, "We no longer allow content that offends someone with malicious intent, based on protected attributes such as race, gender or sexual orientation. This applies to everyone, from individuals to YouTube creators to civil servants.
One would have thought that this need not be added, but here we are.
Halprin explicitly mentions an incident "earlier this year," which led to her reviewing her policy. The incident in question is the alleged harassment of Vox journalist Carlos Maza, which dismissed YouTube merely as a disagreement: " Opinions can be profoundly offensive, but if they do not violate our policies, they stay with us. " Later, it was the creators who voiced the opinion, but as Maza pointed out, that has done virtually nothing to stop him. Needless to say, the answer to that was not pretty. The fact that Maza was targeted, in part because of his sexuality, was exacerbated, and he pointed out that during Pride Month, YouTube made a big splash about its LGBTQ + creators and how it helped them. Within days, YouTube issued a statement to review the harassment and hate speech policies. " In consultation with experts, creators, journalists and those who themselves have become victims of harassment."
We traveled across the country with @RaymondBraun to investigate what pride means for LGBTQ + people 50 years after Stonewall. View the new YouTube original, #StateOfPride today → https://t.co/pX4LCHgL5f pic.twitter.com/riaUBfXr2d
– YouTube (@YouTube ) May 29, 2019
The company also intends to investigate entire channels, as there is often no specific thing in a video that is considered harassment or hate speech. If it is determined that a content creator too often violates " our Harassment Policy," they may be removed from the affiliate program, their videos removed, or in some cases their entire channel removed.  This is something that requires a lot of work to enforce – due to the nature of the veiled threats, they are difficult to quantify. YouTube will also have to go a very fine line so it does not make too much or too little. Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer, told the New York Times, " Many nuances and relationships are important here, but we really want to bring them directly to our platform." We do not want this to be a place where individuals are harassed. We want to draw a clear line about it.
It feels like YouTube 2019 would have been a long purge. It had to be reconciled with extremist content and the lack of protection for children, in addition to its toxicity problem for the abuse of bulk messages