YouTube is the largest video sharing platform on the internet today. It is also the second-largest search engine next to Google, its parent company. So, there is no surprise why the said platform has a strict set of policies regarding the videos published by users.
According to YouTube, it is often asked if its policies apply consistently to all content creators. Some people also say that certain channels, such as those owned by public officials, celebrities, and media outlets, get an exemption from the rules. We don’t even know if this is enforced similar to YouTubers who buy YouTube views for marketing.
For this reason, YouTube clarified that its Community Guidelines set the rules to protect the entire YouTube community. Other than that, it also provides a space for a significant range of views. Also, the platform’s reviewers are spread throughout the globe. They enforce YouTube’s set of content policies to all videos no matter who posted it, who the speaker is, their political viewpoint, background, position, and affiliations.
As mentioned, YouTube applies its policies to every content. However, there are instances when they allow a video to stay on the platform even if it violated the policies. This will only happen if the content in question offers a compelling reason, along with a visible context for its viewers. Such an exemption is often referred to as EDSA.
EDSA stands for “Educational, Documentary, Scientific, or Artistic” content. To determine what videos might qualify for an EDSA exception, YouTube takes a look at several factors. These factors include the video’s description, its title, and the context that it provides through its audio and imagery. Context is important, and decisions are nuanced.
Moreover, YouTube is aware that it can be difficult for content creators to understand why a particular video stays on the platform while another is taken down. For this reason, the platform has given some examples.
YouTube does not allow content that targets minors with bullying and insults. However, there are instances when it allows such content if it shows as a part of an educational anti-bullying campaign.
Encouraging violence and hate speech is not allowed on YouTube as it violates the platform’s policies. However, a documentary that features hate speech such as one about WWII, where Nazi leaders show violence, may be allowed. But such documentaries must provide historical context and must not claim that they support the context of violence that’s showed in the video.
Nudity is seen as something sexual. This is not allowed on YouTube. But there are times when nudity has scientific value. For instance, a video that shows a medical professional doing a physical examination is scientific; thus, it can stay on the platform. Besides, a photographer who is showing nude portraits, as well as a music video featuring semi-nude or nude dancers for artistic reasons, may be allowed.
YouTube prohibits users from uploading content that targets an individual with derogatory words based on their religion, race, sexuality, and other protected attributes. But a comedy video that uses such terms towards a subject who is visibly a willing participant may be allowed. This is because the platform considers the aforementioned video type as an artistic expression.
Furthermore, the platform does not automatically give exceptions because a user presented a particular video as a part of a news broadcast or has footage from a conference. Rather, the video’s documentary and educational intent have to be clear and have to provide context.
YouTube imposes a higher bar for other categories, such as content that shows hate speech, violent criminal organizations, graphic violence, or medical misinformation about COVID-19. This is because these types of content present the viewers with potential danger. YouTube has a different set of rules for such videos.
First, the context must show in the video’s imagery. It also has to be clear to the audience that the said video’s creator does not promote or support content that violates the platform’s policies. It is not enough for it to be just in the title and description.
For instance, a video telling people that the pandemic is not true can stay on the platform. However, the video itself must refute this claim on its audio or imagery.
While there is a different set of EDSA policies, there is still some content that YouTube does not allow. Content with sensitive and egregiously harmful nature and content that violates the law cannot have an EDSA exception.
Furthermore, EDSA exception is YouTube’s way of ensuring that relevant videos and important speech stays on the platform. It also intends to protect the wider ecosystem of YouTube from harmful and potentially dangerous content.
YouTube is a significantly large platform. Millions of individuals are using it. Also, billions of hours of content are being uploaded to the platform every day. For this reason, it is only right and just for the platform to impose strict rules and policies. The said policies are not intended to stop anyone from expressing their thoughts or to stop free speech. Instead, they intend to protect every viewer from danger, harm, and hate speech. Needless to say, YouTube is trying its best to protect the well-being of its users.
On the other hand, users and content creators alike must be mindful of using the platform. Content creators must see to it that they abide by the platform’s policies to make sure that no problem may occur. On the other hand, viewers must be careful about the things that they watch and absorb from the platform. If they think that the video they watched violates the video-sharing platform’s rules and policies, they must take the initiative of reporting it. Reporting a potentially harmful video will prevent it from spreading further.
Date: October 21, 2020 / Categories: YouTube, / Author: Joy P