By Sahil Patel
This program is unrelated to YouTube’s copyright infringement (Content ID) program, which focuses more on helping rights-owners find, claim, and monetize their assets on the site.
Instead, this “trusted flagger” program is designed to curb the existence of the worst kinds of videos — those that feature hate speech or pornography, or unlawful acts such as drug abuse, bomb-making, animal abuse, and any sort of graphic violence.
Those enlisted in the trusted flaggers program have the ability to flag as many as 20 videos at a time. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, YouTube then reviews these claims before deciding whether to remove the video or restrict it to older ages.
The existence of such a specialized group came to light after a Financial Times article last week and a Wall Street Journal article today revealed that the British government’s counter terrorism unit was one of the groups enlisted by YouTube to flag videos that were unsuitable for audiences.
For those concerned that this would be a way for government organizations to censor content on the world’s biggest video site, YouTube said that’s not the case. In a statement to the press, YouTube said that less than 10 of the 200 trusted flaggers are government agencies or private organizations. Most are trusted individuals who have a good track record in identifying offensive material on the site. And, again, the company is the only one that has the ability to remove any flagged content from the site.