YouTube is taking further steps to reduce the visibility of videos that spread misinformation after tweaking its engine with the aim of serving up less recommendations of “borderline content”.
The video streaming giant defines “borderline” clips as those that are not quite offensive enough to be removed from the site entirely. YouTube has worked hard to eliminate extremist forms of content during the last two years, but videos that are not quite as shocking but are still problematic have been more troublesome to root out.
YouTube said that there are certain videos that can “misinform users in harmful ways”. In an official post last week, it listed topics such as claiming that the Earth is flat, offering miracle cures for serious illnesses, and making false claims about important historical events as prime examples.
These videos will no longer show up in a user’s recommendations on the homepage, which should lower their reach and impact. However, YouTube said that they will still be accessible to those who search for them specifically as they have not been removed from the platform entirely.
YouTube added: “While this shift will apply to less than one percent of the content on YouTube, we believe that limiting the recommendation of these types of videos will mean a better experience for the YouTube community.”
The new updated engine will use both machine learning and human input to properly assess the millions of videos that are uploaded every day. It will be rolled out in the US for a limited number of videos initially before a wider launch globally.