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In YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s quarterly letter last month, the exec said the company was working to develop a new harassment policy. Today, YouTube is sharing the results of those efforts with the release of an updated policy which now takes a stronger stance against threats and personal attacks, addresses toxic comments, and gets tougher on those with repeat violations.
“Harassment hurts our community by making people less inclined to share their opinions and engage with each other. We heard this time and again from creators, including those who met with us during the development of this policy update,” wrote YouTube’s Matt Halprin, Vice President, Global Head of Trust & Safety, in an announcement.
YouTube - Platform - Wojcicki - Harassment - Steps
YouTube claims it will continue to be an open platform, as Wojcicki had earlier described it. However, it will not tolerate harassment, and is laying out several steps it believes will better protect YouTube creators and the community on that front.
The company says it met with a range of experts to craft its new policy, including organizations that study online bullying, those who advocate on behalf of journalists, free speech proponents, and organizations from all sides of the political spectrum.
Change - Policy - Threats
The first change to the policy focuses on veiled threats.
Before today, YouTube prohibited videos that explicitly threatened someone, revealed confidential personal information (aka “doxxing”), or encouraged people to harass someone. Now, it will expand this policy to include “veiled or implied threats,” as well. This includes threats that simulate violence toward an individual or use language that suggests physical violence could occur.
Policy - Language - Insults - Someone - Attributes
The new policy will also now prohibit language that “maliciously insults” someone based on their protected attributes — meaning things like their race, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, or their physical traits.
This is an area where YouTube has received much criticism, most recently with the Steven Crowder controversy,...
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