There will likely be a spike in YouTube videos being mistakenly taken down for violations of their content policy as the company will now have to rely primarily on automated software to vet the videos as employees are being asked to stay home during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
According to Reuters News, Alphabet Inc., parent company to Google, relayed a message warning content creators that YouTube's AI will be responsible for most of the software used to identify any content deemed to be problematic. The artificially intelligent software is not as accurate as humans, however, when it comes to the content policy guidelines, said the company.
If a video is taken down, the content creator may file an appeal to have it republished, however the company also noted that “turnaround times for appeals against these decisions may be slower,” according to the blog post.
Google, following the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), has asked employees and contractors to work from home if possible. This is an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.
Mass gatherings such as sporting events, music festivals and religious events have been postponed or cancelled worldwide in order to soften the blow of the rapidly-spreading respiratory disease.
Google has also stated that human review of automated policy decisions will be limited, making it slower for other products as well. They have indicated that phone support would be reduced as well.
“Some users, advertisers, developers and publishers may experience delays in some support response times for non-critical services, which will now be supported primarily through our chat, email, and self-service channels,” Google said.
Google’s content review operations are located in several different countries, including the United States, India, Singapore and Ireland.
Many social media sites are following suit, and users have been getting error messages.