In 2017, over one billion YouTube videos were watched from mobile devices, and the average time spent watching videos from a mobile device was more than 40 minutes. Considering these statistics, it is likely you or your children are watching videos on YouTube.
If so, you may be aware of some disturbing trends that have recently plagued the video sharing platform. BBC reported earlier this year that individuals were using popular cartoon characters in their animations. These cartoons often took a dark turn and displayed content not appropriate for children, who were the most likely audience.
While some parents are advocating to keep kids off of YouTube, Google, which purchased YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion, is taking another approach. The company announced plans to hire 10,000 new employees to review potentially violent or inappropriate content.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote, “Human reviewers remain essential to both removing content and training machine learning systems because human judgment is critical to making contextualized decisions on content. Since June, our trust and safety teams have manually reviewed nearly 2 million videos for violent extremist content, helping train our machine-learning technology to identify similar videos in the future. We are also taking aggressive action on comments, launching new comment moderation tools and in some cases shutting down comments altogether.”
While the qualifications are steep, if you live in California and would like to apply, you can do so here.
In the meantime, if you are a parent and want to keep your kids safe on YouTube, consider watching the videos with your kids. Or, take Tiffany Napier’s advice. She is the mother of two girls, aged 7 and 4. She said she logs in to YouTube using her Google account so she can better monitor what her daughters are seeing.
“I put the girls devices in my name so I can pull up YouTube on my phone/tablet and check to see what they have viewed.”