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YouTube: Violence is Bad, Vetting is Worse

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Steve Chen doesn’t like the fact that YouTube is often home to clips of violence, rape and bullying — but the YouTube co-founder says it’s more important that videos get posted immediately than it is to vet them. In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Chen said monitoring all clips before publishing would break the fabric of YouTube.

“It’s an impossible task for us to manually go through and solve this problem through just manual labour,” Mr Chen said.

With 10 hours of footage uploaded every minute to the video-sharing site, Chen has a point. (And if YouTube wasn’t owned by Google — and powered by giant bags of money — that argument might hold more water.) Instead, Chen prefers to rely on the community for police action:

“What we’re going to have to do is rely on the millions of eyeballs from the community rather than the hundreds that we have [internally] on the site.”

But it’s the millions of eyeballs (80-plus million in January) that are part of the problem. Critics charge that YouTube’s ability to generate instant stardom encourages trends such as happy slapping, and also provides a platform for other heinous crimes, which The Herald recounts in disturbing detail.

Chen said the company is working on technology that would prevent a banned clip from getting reposted. But by then, the damage is done.

(Thanks to Valleywag for the heads up.)

5 Responses to “YouTube: Violence is Bad, Vetting is Worse”

  1. Just as Napster was held accountable for providing the method to distribute copyrighted material, so should YouTube for providing the same for material promoting criminal behavior.