Saturday, August 28, 2021

Ian Corzine goes over YouTube's Community Guidelines in detail, especially on COVID and election related videos (and the rules do get very specific and change all the time)


Old Rag, VA, 2021-7

Ian Corzine is going over the major (ten or more) things you can’t say or do on YouTube.

These points are based on a rather intricate page of YouTube’s community guidelines page.  

Some of the rules, especially on medical information (most of all COVID19) and on elections, are quite specific.  YouTube (as with other social media channels) is quite concerned that real harm may come from relatively small speakers if gullible people actually copy them.

For example, speculative information on vaccines might disincentive people from getting vaccinated, increasing the general risk to the general public that more variants emerge and evade vaccines. 

Or election misinformation might lead to riots that lead to extreme violence or even a near coup, as on January 6.

But the rules, indeed, are very pointed, which shows that social media companies are very sensitive to asymmetric consequences. 

One problem that has occurred is when protests are filmed, and protesters make false claims that would have been prohibited.  The video creator must override the claim with countervailing information in the video.

Other rules, for example, include that you cannot use “hacked” information, use misleading titles, or make a false claim that someone is dead.

Corzine discusses YouTube’s community guidelines strikes and how they are different from copyright strikes.  In many cases one video will “likely” result in just a warning without a strike or takedown. 

Corzine calls the coronavirus pandemic (“sickness” type content  -- why am I reminded of the "not a sin, not a sickness" meme) as the “elephant in the room”.  One of the rules says you can’t claim that natural infection is superior to vaccination in getting to herd immunity. But very recently some authorities (as in Israel) who are very credible are saying that natural infection provides more protection relative to vaccines than had been previously thought.  So YT’s idea on medical information can become dated as the science changes. The CDC “6 foot rule” as well as rules on masks are likely to become flexible.  It would sound likely that higher quality masks (N95 style) may eventually required of the public in many situations.

Corzine recommends creators consider other platforms like locals or substack (paywalls) as more likely to bring in revenue to creators than YouTube.

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