YouTube Content Is So Grim Moderators Can Only Work For Limited Hours Each Day

14 March 2018, 13:41

Woman watching a laptop in the dark
Woman watching a laptop in the dark. Picture: Other

By Josh Lee

Despite viewers being regularly faced with disturbing content on YouTube, for every dodgy video that we are subjected to, there are innumerable more that never reach the light of day, thanks to YouTube's army of moderators. But, according to YouTube's CEO Susan Wojcicki, the task of sifting through disturbing content is so grim, moderators can't actually do it for very long.

Speaking at tech, music and film festival South by Southwest (SXSW) this month, Susan revealed that YouTube recently introduced work limits for its human moderators, so that they are only faced with four hours of disturbing video content a day. The company have also introduced "wellness benefits" to combat the adverse affects that this line of work can have on mental health.

"I myself have spent a lot of time looking at this [disturbing or graphic] content over the past year. It is really hard,” Susan said.

YouTube's strategy for moderating their videos has been under intense public scrutiny in recent months, after Logan Paul's infamous suicide forest vlog led to calls for the platform to manually moderate its trending pages. While YouTube haven't agreed to put humans in charge of this particular section of the site, they have pledged to hire 10,000 human moderators, with the view to ensuring all inappropriate content is scrubbed from the site before it has a chance to trend.