YouTube removed nearly 55 lakh violative videos from India in 2020

YouTube removed nearly 55 lakh violative videos from India in 2020
Photo Credit: Reuters
7 Apr, 2021

As internet users continue the debate content moderation by major internet companies, YouTube’s latest transparency report has revealed that platform took down close to 55 lakh violative videos from India during the last calendar year. 

According to the Google-owned company's Community Guidelines Enforcement report, the number of removals in the country is higher than that seen by any other region where YouTube is available. 

More than 17.5 lakh clips were pulled during the last three months itself (against 93.21 lakh globally), with the figure growing quarter on quarter. Between January and March 2020, about 8.26 lakh videos were removed while April-June and July-September quarters saw 14.46 lakh and 14.62 lakh videos being culled. 

The only country that came close to this mark was the United States, which saw close to 54 lakh removals throughout 2020. Third on the list was Brazil with close to 30 lakh content removals. 

YouTube said that most of these videos in Q4 – 88 lakh, to be precise – were red-flagged by its automated systems while the rest were reported by members of its Trusted Flagger program (NGOs, government agencies, and individuals) or users in the broader YouTube community. 

The company, which first published this report in 2018 and has been updating it ever since, considers a video violative if it features violent/graphic content, spam, sexual content, or even content risking child safety. 

In the fourth quarter of 2020, child safety concerns led to most of the takedowns at 38 lakh videos, followed by violent/graphic content at 19 lakh videos. The report does not show what led to most of the takedowns from India.

Moving ahead, YouTube said it also plans to include Violative View Rate (VVR) in this report.  

This metric will give users an idea of what percentage of views on YouTube comes from content that violates its policies, the company said.  

For Q4 2020, YouTube’s VVR stood at 0.16-0.18% which means that out of every 10,000 views, 16-18 came from violative content. About three years ago, the figure was between 0.65 and 0.75%.