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India tops YouTube’s video removal list with 2 million+ takedowns in Oct-Dec 2023

YouTube’s fight against harmful content sees India at the top – 2.25 million videos down in the last leg of 2023.

YouTube has just dropped its latest Community Guidelines Enforcement report, and the numbers are pretty eye-popping. Between October and December of last year, the platform nuked a staggering 2.25 million videos in India alone for violating their rules. That’s the highest of any country, putting India firmly at the top of the naughty list.

Worldwide, YouTube hit the delete button on over 9 million videos in Q4 2023. The vast majority – more than 96% – were first flagged by machines rather than human reviewers. Of those machine-detected violators, over half were removed before they could get a single view. A further 27% only managed between 1 and 10 views before getting canned.

Entire channels were banned too, with YouTube terminating over 20 million of them last quarter. Most were spam-related offenses like scams, misleading metadata, or comment spam. Comments themselves didn’t escape the purge either – a colossal 1.1 billion were removed, largely caught by automated content removal reasons(Image: YouTube)

As for what kind of content got deleted the most, it was the usual suspects: harmful/dangerous (39.2%), child safety issues (32.4%), and violent/graphic material (7.5%). After India, the countries with the most videos scrubbed were Singapore, the US, Indonesia, and Russia.

The deluge of takedowns in India is pretty notable given the upcoming general election. Google is making efforts to prioritise reliable voting information from authoritative sources across its platforms. But clearly, a ton of sketchy stuff is being uploaded, highlighting the misinformation battle playing out.

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