YouTube is not only the largest video sharing site, it is also the second largest “search engine.” Interestingly, it is owned by the same company with the largest search engine. But it has so much content that even the search giant Google cannot filter it. Google recently announced this inability in face of rising concerns from EU authorities about the use of YouTube for posting disturbing videos related to recent global events, especially in the Middle East.
The statistics for the massive video sharing site are staggering:
- YouTube has more than a billion active users.
- In 2011, it received over a trillion views.
- Everyday more than 4 billion videos are viewed on the site.
- Every minute, 300 hours of video gets uploaded on the site.
- More than a billion mobile videos are viewed daily on the site.
Most importantly, the latest figures are yet to be released – YouTube has grown beyond the above-mentioned figures.
Given these facts, it is quite reasonable that it will be impossible for even a few hundred thousand employees to filter all the content. The EU officials and lawmakers have said that the current spate of threats and messages through YouTube have made it more complicated to prevent the spread of the propaganda.
Google’s Stance about YouTube
According to Verity Harding, Public Policy Manager – Google, the site gets uploaded with more than 300 hours of video every minute. The figure was 100 hours of video per hour in 2011. Google was required to report its inability to an EU Parliament meeting. Harding said that it is not possible to pre-screen the uploading of videos. EU official, Gilles De Kerchove, believes that member states must commit their expertise to help Google and other companies by flagging such content.
YouTube has features that allow users to point out problem videos so that Google/YouTube staff can review the video. A recent example is that of the Scotland Yard complaining about a video material to Google. The site removed more than 93% of the content. The search giant however removes only a third of the content when complained to by individuals. Google compares video pre-screening to screening phone calls even before they are made.
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