YouTube on Tuesday said its tougher hate speech policy is already having a "profound impact" on the giant video site. Between April and June this year, YouTube removed more than 100,000 videos and more than 17,000 channels for violating the site's hate speech policies -- that's a 5x increase over the first three months of 2019. Total comment removals also nearly doubled during the same time period, YouTube said, to over 500 million.
The spike in numbers related to hate speech, YouTube said, is due in part to the removal of older comments, videos and channels that were previously permitted. In June, the Google-owned video site updated its policies on hate speech, saying it would now remove videos that push extremist views like white supremacy or deny events like the Holocaust or the Sandy Hook shooting.
In total for the second quarter of the year, YouTube removed more than 9 million videos and more than 4 million channels. Just over 66% of video removals were for being spam, misleading content or scams, while 90% of channel removals fell into that category. Hate speech violations accounted for 1.2% of video removals and 0.4% of channel removals. YouTube also said more than 80% of videos that violated its polices were removed before receiving a single view.
"We go to great lengths to make sure content that breaks our rules isn't widely viewed, or even viewed at all, before it's removed," the company said in a blog post. "Improvements in our automated flagging systems have helped us detect and review content even before it's flagged by our community, and consequently more than 80% of those auto-flagged videos were removed before they received a single view in the second quarter of 2019."
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