YouTube “super flaggers” include law enforcement

Mar 17, 2014
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YouTube “super flaggers” include law enforcement

YouTube is home to vast quantities of videos, many of which violate its terms of service and guidelines in some way or another. Anyone can flag a video they feel is in violation of the TOS, but some 200 individuals, organizations, and government agencies have so-called "super flaggers" status, giving their flags clout.

Among the governmental bodies that have super flagger status is the UK's Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, recently reported by the Financial Times, something that has caused concern among some individuals about possible video censoring. As such, a "person familiar with the program" has clarified the program a bit, saying that both government and non-government entities comprise less than 10 of the 200 super flaggers.

The rest are individuals who busy themselves with frequently flagging videos that violate YouTube's guidelines, of which videos depicting certain types of content are prohibited. Google went on to state via a spokesperson that it alone chooses whether a video is removed from YouTube, and that government agencies and other entities do not have this power.

In the case of some governmental organizations having the super flagger status, they state their flagging clout is used to surface videos believed to contain extremist content, violate terrorism laws, and other similar problems. Said the WSJ's source, in excess of 90-percent of super flagger-flagged videos are either removed or restricted.

SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal


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