What is Video Content Moderation and Why Creators Need It

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12 Min


09 Jan 2024

What is Video Content Moderation and Why Creators Need It

In this article, we will discuss what moderation is and how to avoid yellow icons and other YouTube sanctions. When videos you worked so hard on are finally uploaded to the platform, you want to be sure that they will grow your channel and be attractive to algorithms. What a huge disappointment when something you invested your talent in receives a warning or, even worse, causes your channel to lose monetization.

What if there was a way for you to prevent that and to receive timely channel moderation?  Today we'll cover that all!

What is Video Content Moderation?

Video content moderation is the process of reviewing and approving or rejecting videos uploaded by users before they are made accessible to others. It is done to ensure that all videos are appropriate and relevant for the platform. Moderators may also request to make changes to the video's settings before publishing it.

Viewer safety is important to YouTube, so the platform regularly updates its policies and algorithms. But many creators do not have time to respond to these changes, resulting in strikes and disabled monetization. The longer you don’t monetize content, the more money you lose.

YouTube has lots of policies and community guidelines that every creator should follow to have their content published on the platform. These guidelines apply to all types of content, including videos, comments, links, and thumbnails. They cover a wide range of topics, such as:

  • Child Safety
  • Nudity and Sexual Content
  • Suicide and self-injury
  • Fake engagement
  • Impersonation
  • Spam, deceptive practices, and scams
  • Vulgar language
  • Hate speech
  • Violent or graphic content
  • and more. 

If you dig into any of those topics, there are lots of details. For instance, YouTube's Child Safety Policies say that your content may face age restrictions if it includes any of the following:

  • Harmful or dangerous acts that minors could imitate: Content containing adults participating in dangerous activities that minors could easily imitate.
    • Note: If the content itself warns minors not to perform dangerous activities, we may allow this content without restriction. It will also need to explain the need for professional adult supervision.
  • Adult themes in family content: Content meant for adult audiences but could easily be confused with family content. This includes cartoons that contain adult themes such as violence, sex, or death. Remember you can age-restrict your content upon upload if it’s intended for mature audiences.
  • Vulgar language: Some language is not appropriate for younger audiences. Content using sexually explicit language or excessive profanity may lead to age restriction.

If content doesn't align with YouTube rules, your video can receive warnings, strikes or even be deleted. Only for 3 months in 2023, YouTube has removed 2,991,727 videos that violated their Child Safety Policies. 

What are Some Content Moderation Methods?

In order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for its viewers, YouTube uses a multi-pronged approach to content filtering, combining human monitoring with automatic tools. Below is a summary of the main strategies that YouTube uses.

Keyword Filtering 

YouTube has a system in place that looks for particular keywords or phrases linked to offensive content in the titles, descriptions, and tags of videos. This technology flags videos, which are then further examined to see if they break any of YouTube's community guidelines.

Image Recognition

YouTube scans video still frames and thumbnails for potentially objectionable content using image recognition technologies. This method works especially well for recognizing graphic or violent imagery.

Human-Based Moderation

Even while automated tools are effective, human moderators are essential to keeping YouTube up to its high standards. Skilled moderators examine user-submitted content reports and flagged videos, deciding whether to remove, age-restrict, or keep the content unaltered.

These reviewers are a bunch of experts who really know the ins and outs of the platform guidelines. They're the ones responsible for making decisions about flagged content. YouTube's moderation experts are on duty around the clock, covering all time zones. They're a diverse, multilingual group spread out across the world because, you know, content can come from anywhere and in any language.

It's often a bit tricky to reach out to the YouTube team for various reasons, but if you need help, YouTube Certified Partners can get things sorted.

AI-Based Automated Moderation

YouTube works to increase the accuracy of its automated moderation systems by constantly developing and improving its algorithms. Since 2017, YouTube has been bringing in Machine Learning (ML) in order to find patterns and subtleties in content that can be difficult for keyword filters, picture recognition, or human-based moderation to pick up on. 

They're basically teaching computer programs to spot offensive content by showing them examples and drawing connections, even using examples of what's not offensive. This ML thing has made it possible for the moderation team to handle way more stuff, way faster. When content gets flagged, it goes through a review, and sometimes, if the algorithm is super confident that the ML-identified content is offensive, it might remove it without a manual review. The reviewers keep giving feedback to the ML process to make it even smarter. 

Community Reporting 

Users are encouraged by YouTube to report any questionable content they come across. The content that gets flagged is checked out by the YouTube team. By combining automated systems, human review, and user feedback, YouTube can effectively remove inappropriate content while still allowing for a wide range of diverse content.

Protect Your YouTube Channel from Strikes

If you have a YouTube channel, you need to be careful about avoiding strikes. Strikes are penalties that can result in your channel being suspended. YouTube understands that mistakes happen, so it gives creators a fair warning when their content is flagged as offensive. If the behavior continues, they issue a 'strike' as a reminder to take their guidelines seriously. However, if there are three strikes within a 90-day period, they'll block the account to maintain a safe and enjoyable platform for everyone.

AIR Media Tech has helped over 1,300 YouTube channels stay safe and protected, and we've found that handling strikes is one of the most common challenges. Here are 6 tips to help you prevent strikes:

  1. Only use your own content or content that you have permission to use.
  2. Don't upload the same video multiple times.
  3. Don't upload videos with explicit content.
  4. Don't upload videos of violence or dangerous activities.
  5. Don't use offensive language.
  6. Don't promote self-harm or suicide.

If you get a strike, you can appeal it. If your appeal is not successful, you may lose your channel. In that case, you can always get help from a YouTube Certified Partner like AIR Media-Tech.

Daily Video Moderation Service

To prevent sanctions on new videos, there are several automated services. One of them is Daily Video Moderation by AIR Media-Tech. With Video Moderation, all new content that you upload to the platform is reviewed daily, allowing you to quickly detect violations and secure the channel from strikes.

How Daily Video Moderation Works

When our team detects channel violations, we do not apply any sanctions. Our task is to warn you about possible risks and help prevent violations.

In case of violations, we send you a notification in the personal account messenger, in which we:

  1. Identify the violation type
  2. Warn you of risks you may face due to further YouTube sanction
  3. Give recommendations on how to prevent violations to avoid strikes, demonetization, or channel termination

We take several parameters into account at once:

  1. The video must not violate the current platform guidelines.
  2. The video must not infringe copyright.
  3. The title, description, and video tags must not contain prohibited words and spam.

But we did not stop there! We’ve recently introduced a moderation page in the personal account, where you can see the work of our moderation team, monitor violations, and promptly correct them.

Advantages of Using Video Moderation Tips

Your income is secure. Timely detection of violations in content makes it possible to prevent platform sanctions, which means maintaining monetization on your channel. 

Your channel is protected from hacks. In addition to reviewing your content, Video Moderation also allows us to monitor suspicious activity on your channel, which allows us to notice it on time and prevent it.

You are aware of platform changes and updates. Close communication with the platform team helps us be the first to know about changes in YouTube’s algorithms and security system and warn you about them in advance. 

What to Do If You Have Already Received a Warning

If the violation is not critical and does not affect ads, you will receive a warning from YouTube via email. After that, you can decide whether to remove the violation or take a risk. But it’s important to remember that if you receive 3 warnings, your channel will be terminated.

If the violation is significant, for example, the video is not copyrighted, which can result in a strike, we will recommend removing such content as this threatens to get the channel terminated.

If you didn’t have time to apply the recommendations and still received sanctions from the platform, you can contact us in the personal account messenger, and we will help you solve this problem.

You’ve probably heard of those lucky creators who manage to avoid the trouble before it appears. Now you know it’s not simply luck. AIR Media-Tech provides this Daily Video Moderation service automatically to all partners. With vital moderation tips, you can be confident that you won’t get unpleasant surprises on your channel and resolve any doubts you might have concerning your content safety and compliance with the platform guidelines. Join AIR and get access to all security services, and be confident your content is safe!

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