In 2005, Nature published a peer review comparing 42 hard science articles from Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia and found that Wikipedia's level of accuracy approached that of Britannica, although critics suggested that it might not have fared so well in a similar study of a random sampling of all articles or one focused on social science or contentious social issues. The following year, Time stated that the open-door policy of allowing anyone to edit had made Wikipedia the biggest and possibly the best encyclopedia in the world, and was a testament to the vision of Jimmy Wales.
YouTube joined an initiative led by France and New Zealand with other countries and tech companies in May 2019 to develop tools to be used to block online hate speech and to develop regulations, to be implemented at the national level, to be levied against technology firms that failed to take steps to remove such speech, though the United States declined to participate. Subsequently, on June 5, 2019, YouTube announced a major change to its terms of service, "specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status." YouTube identified specific examples of such videos as those that "promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory". YouTube further stated it would "remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place."More Info
YouTube began to implement its compliance approach in November 2019, in line with its settlement with the FTC. All channels must declare if their content is "made for kids", either as a blanket claim for their entire channel, or on a per-video basis. The company states that a video is considered "made for kids" if its primary audience is children, or is "directed" to children based on various factors as guidelines (even if they are not the primary audience), including use of child actors, "characters, celebrities, or toys that appeal to children", depictions of "activities that appeal to children, such as play-acting, simple songs or games, or early education", and poems, songs, and stories intended for children, among others. YouTube will employ machine learning to find videos that they believe are clearly "made for kids" and automatically mark them as such, but will not help or advise content creators for videos that fall into unclear categories, as this constitutes legal advice. In order to prevent data to be collected from minors without consent, videos marked as being "made for kids" were automatically reduced in functionality beginning on January 6, 2020. As a result, social and community features such as end screens and other widgets, notification functions, and comments are disabled, and videos can only be monetized with contextual advertising based on the video's metadata. Further, liability for failing proper marking channels or videos as "made for kids" would fall onto the channel owners, with the FTC able to issue up to $42,000 fines per infringing video, though the FTC clarified that the amount would be based on "a company’s financial condition and the impact a penalty could have on its ability to stay in business".More Info
An independent test in 2009 uploaded multiple versions of the same song to YouTube, and concluded that while the system was "surprisingly resilient" in finding copyright violations in the audio tracks of videos, it was not infallible. The use of Content ID to remove material automatically has led to controversy in some cases, as the videos have not been checked by a human for fair use. If a YouTube user disagrees with a decision by Content ID, it is possible to fill in a form disputing the decision. Prior to 2016, videos were not monetized until the dispute was resolved. Since April 2016, videos continue to be monetized while the dispute is in progress, and the money goes to whoever won the dispute. Should the uploader want to monetize the video again, they may remove the disputed audio in the "Video Manager". YouTube has cited the effectiveness of Content ID as one of the reasons why the site's rules were modified in December 2010 to allow some users to upload videos of unlimited length.More Info
In 2013, YouTube introduced an option for channels with at least a thousand subscribers to require a paid subscription in order for viewers to watch videos. In April 2017, YouTube set an eligibility requirement of 10,000 lifetime views for a paid subscription. On January 16, 2018, the eligibility requirement for monetization was changed to 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. The move was seen as an attempt to ensure that videos being monetized did not lead to controversy, but was criticized for penalizing smaller YouTube channels.More Info
YouTube's policies on "advertiser-friendly content" restrict what may be incorporated into videos being monetized; this includes strong violence, language, sexual content, and "controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown", unless the content is "usually newsworthy or comedic and the creator's intent is to inform or entertain". In September 2016, after introducing an enhanced notification system to inform users of these violations, YouTube's policies were criticized by prominent users, including Phillip DeFranco and Vlogbrothers. DeFranco argued that not being able to earn advertising revenue on such videos was "censorship by a different name". A YouTube spokesperson stated that while the policy itself was not new, the service had "improved the notification and appeal process to ensure better communication to our creators". Boing Boing reported in 2019 that LGBT keywords resulted in demonetization.More Info
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