YouTube to Feature ‘Violative View Rate’ in Future Community Guidelines Enforcement Reports

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Photo Credit: Christian Wiediger

In an effort to “estimate the percentage of the views on YouTube that come from violative content,” the Google-owned video-sharing platform intends to add a new metric, the violative view rate (VVR), to future Community Guidelines Enforcement Reports.

Jennifer O’Connor, director of YouTube’s Trust and Safety division, detailed her company’s plans for the violative view rate (VVR) in a recent blog post. To recap, YouTube – which was one of the few social-media platforms that experienced growth among U.S. users between 2019 and 2021, per a study – published its first Community Guidelines Enforcement Report in 2018.

This quarterly breakdown discloses the precise number of channels, videos, and comments that YouTube removed for violating its community guidelines, in addition to highlighting the statistics behind these figures (reason for removal, total videos removed by country/region of upload, etc.).

For reference, the company in Q4 2020 took down over two million channels, roughly 9.3 million videos, and a staggering 906 million comments. 41 percent of the video takedowns resulted from “child safety” violations, and a full 99.6 percent of the deleted comments were caught by “automated flagging systems.”

Overall, since the debut Community Guidelines Enforcement Report was published, YouTube has removed north of 83 million videos and seven billion comments. And as initially mentioned, future breakdowns are now set to feature a violative view rate – though YouTube has calculated the VVR, “the primary metric used to measure our responsibility work,” since 2017.

“We calculate VVR by taking a sample of videos on YouTube and sending it to our content reviewers who tell us which videos violate our policies and which do not. By sampling, we gain a more comprehensive view of the violative content we might not be catching with our systems,” O’Connor explained of the process that produces the percentage.

A supplementary diagram elaborates that “a sample is taken of all the views on YouTube,” and then, “content reviewers assess the sampled videos to determine whether or not they violate YouTube Community Guidelines.” Finally, “YouTube data scientists use the results from the content reviewers to estimate [the] Violative View Rate.”

Q4 2020 delivered the lowest VVR of any quarter to date, according to YouTube, at .16 percent to .18 percent. This figure – which represents a dip of over 70 percent from Q4 2017 – “means that out of every 10,000 views on YouTube, 16-18 come from violative content.”

Last month, YouTube rolled out a feature that enables creators to check their videos for copyright infringement before uploading. And about one week ago, Grammy-winning jazz professional Maria Schneider, as part of her nearly year-running suit with YouTube, called on the platform to disclose a list of the takedown notices it’s received as well as the identities of repeat infringers.