Some of you know how much I love YouTube. I think it's one of the greatest inventions of man and I probably spend an hour of my life each day watching YT videos.
How they moderate is fascinating to me because Cake + my forum Adventure Rider face similar challenges, albeit at a micro fraction of their scale. It makes sense to learn all we can from them.
This morning one of the social media journalists I respect most, Casey Newton, published a report on what it's like to moderate content for YouTube. Oh my God. How is it possible to solve these problems?
From Casey's report:
Unlike the contractors who make up most of Google’s workforce, Daisy was a well paid Google employee who had access to the world’s best benefits and gold-plated health care. But that didn’t stop her from developing severe long-term mental health consequences.
A year into the job, Daisy’s then-boyfriend pointed out to her that her personality had begun to change. You’re very jumpy, he said. You talk in your sleep. Sometimes you’re screaming. Her nightmares were getting worse. And she was always, always tired.
A roommate came up behind her once and gently poked her, and she instinctively spun around and hit him. “My reflex was This person is here to hurt me,” she says. “I was just associating everything with things that I had seen.”
One day, Daisy was walking around San Francisco with her friends when she spotted a group of preschool-age children. A caregiver had asked them to hold on to a rope so that they would not stray from the group.“I kind of blinked once, and suddenly I just had a flash some of the images I had seen,” Daisy says. “Children being tied up, children being raped at that age — three years old. I saw the rope, and I pictured some of the content I saw with children and ropes. And suddenly I stopped, and I was blinking a lot, and my friend had to make sure I was okay. I had to sit down for a second, and I just exploded crying.”
His full report is terrifying: