YouTube's Reason For Not Moderating Their Trending Page Is Bullsh*t

23 February 2018, 17:09 | Updated: 23 February 2018, 17:13

YouTube's Trending Page
YouTube's Trending Page. Picture: YouTube

By Josh Lee

A computer scientist criticised YouTube's stance on the matter this week.

A computer scientist has called bullsh*t on YouTube's reasoning behind why they don't moderate their Trending page, after a fake conspiracy theory vilifying a survivor of the Florida High School shooting found itself at the top of YouTube's Trending page this week.

According to CNBC, "YouTube’s position is that because it has country-specific Trending tabs all over the world that update approximately every 15 minutes, it would be impossible to have humans moderate that section."

But Christo Wilson, an assistant professor at Northeastern University's College of Computer and information Science isn't having any of that, and came up with a solution so obvious that it's actually quite elegant.

"This is an absurd excuse," Christo told CNBC. "If [the algorithm] it is updating too fast to moderate, then the solution is to simply slow it down. This is a technical change that is well within YouTube's control."


Christo went on to say, "In an adversarial environment where the algorithm is under attack, it's YouTube's responsibility to design the system in such a way that it is resilient to this kind of manipulation, even if that means including human moderators. Can we expect perfection? Of course not. But as of today, YouTube seems to still be in the initial stages of grappling with [its] algorithmic curation issues."

The Florida shooting conspiracy video is the second high-profile case of inappropriate content being promoted to hundreds of thousands of people via YouTube's Trending page this year. In January, YouTube came under fire after Logan Paul's 'Suicide Forest' vlog reached the number one Trending spot worldwide.