YouTube allows people anywhere to share their stories with the world. They share their sense of humor, their talents, their opinions, what’s happening around them and within them. YouTube is also a community, and over the years, people have used the flagging feature located beneath every video and comment to help report content they believe violates their Community Guidelines.

Google want's to empower you, the YouTube community, to better understand how flagging works and how you can get involved in maintaining their community guidelines. To shed some light on how your flagging activity has helped keep YouTube a platform where openness and creative expression are balanced with responsibility, here are some of the latest data:

  • Over 90 million people have flagged videos on YouTube since 2006 - that’s more than the population of Egypt - and over a third of these people have flagged more than one video.
  • As YouTube grows, the community continues to be very active in flagging content: the number of flags per day is up over 25 percent year-on-year.
  • Community flagging on YouTube is international: People from 196 countries have flagged a video. The five countries with the most accurate flagging rates are: Indonesia, Turkey, Germany, Ukraine and France.
  • They’re also continuing to strengthen their policy enforcement processes: In 2015 alone, they removed 92 million videos for violation of our policies through a mix of user flagging and their spam-detection technology. While they are vigilant and fast in removing terrorist content and hate speech, it's worth noting that it actually represents a very small proportion of the content that violates their guidelines - those two violations account for only 1 percent of the videos removed in 2015.

When flagging, you can report which policy you think a video violates, from spam and sexual content to harassment and violent content. This helps Google route and review flagged content more efficiently and effectively:

They have trained teams, fluent in multiple languages, who carefully evaluate your flags 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in time zones around the world. They remove content that violates Google terms, age-restrict content that may not be appropriate for all audiences, and are careful to leave content up if it hasn’t crossed the line. As YouTube grows, they continue to scale their policy enforcement resources to meet your needs as a community.

Flagged content, however, doesn’t automatically get removed. YouTube is an important global platform for information and news, and their teams evaluate videos before taking action in order to protect content that has an educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purpose.

Google also takes into account local laws in the countries where they operate and if they receive a valid legal notice that content violates a local law, they will restrict that content in the local country domain. You can find information about government removal requests in Google’s Transparency Report. Similarly, if they remove content for policy reasons after receiving a valid legal request, they will include that in their transparency reporting.

Google wants to encourage you to continue flagging and they hope this additional transparency will help you continue reporting responsibly. For more information about how these processes work, visit their Policy and Safety Hub.

from our friends at Google

Also published on Medium.