YouTube has set up a new team dedicated to improving the quality of policy enforcement and subsequent erroneous takedowns, responding to community criticism.

Complaints have accused the video streaming site of a lazy approach to monitoring content, and using an unreliable automated system, Content ID, to enforce copyright policy. The digital fingerprinting tool allows copyright owners to track any content that they believe copies their own work – a good idea on the surface, but creators are easily able to abuse this control by making bogus claims, and even affecting immediate removal.

If an individual posts ‘fair use’ content, a Content ID claim can be a major inconvenience – badly damaging their ratings, reducing their chances of receiving ad revenue and depriving them of sponsor support.

In response to these allegations, including from creators like GradeAUnderA and I HATE EVERYTHING, YouTube has announced that it will be introducing a workforce focused entirely on ‘minimising mistakes’ that delete legitimate videos. According to a note posted by Policy Team member, Spencer, on YouTube’s Help Forum, the tech giant has also promised to improve transparency into the status of monetisation claims, and help strengthen communications between video creators and its support teams.

However, many are sceptical of the new efforts to improve the current situation. One forum user commented: ‘We want results not promises. Your promises are meaningless […] There needs to be harsh penalties for people who file false (fraudulent) claims and strikes. AT LEAST as harsh as the penalties levied on the content creators that have been unjustly subjected to.’

Without further details about the tools YouTube plans to introduce, it is difficult to judge how significant the changes will be. It is a comfort to many creators, however, that YouTube is listening to their irritation at the copyright system and wants to help them through actively implementing new initiatives.

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