"Trashy Video Classifier" An Artificial Intelligence System by Google That Cleans up YouTube Homepage

YouTube is full of extreme and deceptive videos, and the home page is what annoys most of the visitors as it is littered with trashy content.

YouTube has been a target of criticism in the past for not taking necessary steps to stop this trash videos trend on its platform.

Google has installed an AI (Artificial Intelligence) software that examines tons of videos on its own and blocks videos from the home page of website and home screen of the app, which looks troubling for the platform.

According to people working with the project, this Artificial Intelligence software is known as "trashy video classifier".

This system plays an essential role in attracting and holding the visitors on the homepage of YouTube.

Despite being so significant, the company hasn't reported this trashy video classifier before.

The company tested the system in 2015 but installed it openly in 2017 as a series of unpleasant incidents with children’s videos took place.

A channel entitled "Elsagate" featured videos showing the Disney princess in various unpleasant situations.

The Company faced backlash and boycotts from advertisers over inappropriate videos.

A Google employee confirmed to Bloomberg that they have trashy video classifier which scans for YouTube's homepage, and also "watch next" panels for recommended videos.

The AI examines the feedback from users who report videos that are with a misleading title, misleading thumbnail, click-baity and inappropriate videos.

According to the former employees, the company is capable of handling the troubling content, but it has only taken those issues seriously where the company's money is at stake, or when the outer world's pressure has forced it to take action.

The trashy video classifier was partially motivated by financial purposes.

With the increasing use of smartphones to get online, they frequently went direct to YouTube’s app and website instead of watching YouTube's content on other platforms.


When people watch ads directly on YouTube instead of viewing on other platforms,  the company often gets more of the revenue, according to a person working closely with the company.

However, The issue was that some highly popular videos on YouTube's home page were objectionable, for example, videos including people fighting or someone taking a bruising fall.

One former engineer recalled an internal meeting concerning a still image from a video with male genitalia.

This type of content gets views, but also some people get offended from the home page and report such videos as pornography is prohibited on YouTube.

To resolve this issue, YouTube included the trashy video classifier, which has been a success for the company.

Google recently told the advertisers that the watch time on YouTube’s homepage and application skyrocketed in the last three years.

The Google spokeswoman said that they experimented clickbait classifier in 2015.

It examines the titles and thumbnails of videos that looks misleading, don't represent the content, include or offensive language.

The clickbait classifier got rolled out to increase the user experience in 2016.

Here's How YouTube's Secret `Trashy Video' System Cleans Up Its Homepage

YouTube doesn't share its financial details but according to RBC Capital Markets the company earned more than $20 billion last year, improvements for the homepage public, and new techniques for displaying advertisements can generate billions of dollars in revenue.

YouTube’s AI software still can't analyze all the content on the website as more than 500 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

The cutting-edge AI techniques have become higher at recognizing both the content and context of video content, despite the fact that the records signals continue to be noisy.

Chris Apostle, chief media officer at iCrossing, an ad agency said, YouTube has mostly disclaimed the advertiser boycotts at this factor.

Marketers are sure that the company can deal effectively with brand safety concerns.

Read next: YouTube and Instagram Battling to Become Brands' Top Choice for Social Media Marketing

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