YouTube Creates Team to Address Bogus Video Takedowns

Illustration by Sebastien Tibault

YouTube has formed a new team to address the problem of mistaken takedowns of videos in a move to ease concerns from content creators.

Currently the site has appeals forms for creators whose videos have been frozen due to age restrictions and other policy violations. For many high-profile YouTubers who depend on advertising revenue, a removed video is a hit to their bottom line -- and the process to get those videos reinstated takes time.

"Recently, there's been a lot of discussion about the enforcement of our policies, from video takedowns to channel demonetization," writes a member of YouTube policy operations team. "We want you to know that we monitor video takedowns very closely, and while we haven't seen a big change in the overall rate of removals, it's true that we do make mistakes. For this, we're sorry and we strive to do better by you, our community."

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As a result of user feedback, YouTube is taking a closer look at its policies and will be rolling out new initiatives this year. "It's led us to create a team dedicated to minimizing mistakes and improving the quality of our actions," YouTube says. "And it's encouraged us to roll out some initiatives in the coming months that will help strengthen communications between creators and YouTube support. We'll also make improvements to increase transparency into the status of monetization claims."

A prevailing sentiment in the post’s comments section is that it is far too easy for someone to torpedo a video with a false claim, and that those offenders should be held accountable.

"Any jerk can claim people's videos without proof," writes ArtistChibi. "The point is, your content ID, copyright claims, and so much more in your system is heavily flawed. The false claimants are not getting punished for their actions. Instead, we are, which isn't right. Not only that, none of you are doing anything about the reaction channels who are not within fair use. This needs to be fixed immediately. Stop relying on an automated system and demand proof of the object being claimed. You are letting this site die."

Read the full post here.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to better reflect that YouTube’s post was specific to improving enforcement of community guidelines and did not pertain to actions by its separate copyright team.