YouTube is reducing the spread of borderline content

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

YouTube is stepping up its efforts to fight the spread of content that comes close to – but doesn’t quite violate – its community guidelines.

The video sharing platform said it’ll begin reducing recommendations of “borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways” such as videos claiming the Earth is flat, those promoting miracle cures for serious illnesses or videos making blatantly false claims about historical events like the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

YouTube said the changes involve tweaking how human evaluators do their job and conversely, how they train machine learning systems.

Initially, only a small number of videos in the US will be affected. Over time as YouTube’s algorithms improve, the changes will be rolled out to additional countries.

It’s worth noting that the changes will only impact recommendations of what people watch, not whether or not a video is available to view on YouTube. So long as it complies with YouTube’s community guidelines, it’ll be available to view should you seek it out. Furthermore, YouTube points out that when relevant, such videos may still appear as recommendations for certain channel subscribers and in search results.

YouTube says the change strikes a balance between maintaining a platform that supports free speech and living up to its responsibility to users.

Lead image courtesy JuliusKielaitis via Shutterstock

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There are much worse channels to block besides Linus Tech Tips.
True, but at this time I'm not being inundated by the cruddier channels out there in my 'suggested' list with nearly the volumes of LTT. Hmm, maybe if I was to block LTT all I'd get is the other crud.

Never mind then!


TS Evangelist
They don't give a flying **** about the user hence they don't let the user think for himself. It's most likely made to screw people they don't like and push garbage down your throat, be it politics or something else.
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TechSpot Chancellor
or videos making blatantly false claims about historical events
I guess every single Battlefield 5 video should be taken down then? Considering it doesn't feature Nazi's and the campaign is a rip of off actual events, minus the men who actually fought for their country?


TS Evangelist
There are a number of videos I've watched that I never would have found if they hadn't magically popped up in my search engine - and I enjoyed them.

I think I prefer my Youtube the way it is now.

And as a Partner with 53,000 subs, I think I want my content to be pushed as hard as possible.


TS Member
If filter out I think there is going be like 1% of content remaining.
How about this, YouTube:

Allow me to block specific channels from ever being suggested in my sidebar. Yes, yes I *am* referring to Linus Tech Tips.
Can’t you do that?
Nope tried that, it will still return always, especially if I watch anything tangentially related to PC hardware.

If YT filters out all the clickbaity garbage, that's going be like 99% of videos on YT.


TS Evangelist
I've recently seen a big push from anti-vaxxers on youtube with a lot of ignorant and stupid videos. These should not only stop appearing in people's feeds they should be removed entirely.
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TS Evangelist
Bull flippin’ Crap YT. You are resorting and filtering videos so as to present your political point of view first. It almost doesn’t even matter what the video is about you’ll find some political relevancy to prioritize it so as to suppress those you don’t agree with.

I hate it when companies have and enforce a political point of view. No one effing cares just shut the hell up and leave us alone. Let the people choose what they like and don’t via the fantastic dislike and report functions.


TS Maniac
There are other things they could fix. Besides, who watches the watchdog's?
Exactly, yet another instance of giving up certain freedoms for convinience.
Why on earth YouTube can't give us simple control over what we want to watch instead of doing it for us? Why there are unboxing vids, political drivel and other useless spam in my Youtube page. Even after selecting 'Not Interested' the similar content keeps popping on.