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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

YouTube’s New Policy on AI Content Removal

Image credits: Szabo Viktor / Unsplash

YouTube has joined the ranks of tech giants grappling with the surge in AI-generated content. In a quiet yet significant policy update this June, YouTube now permits individuals to request the takedown of AI-generated or synthetic content that mimics their face or voice.


This policy change is part of YouTube’s broader responsible AI agenda, initially introduced last November.


Instead of flagging such content as misleading, YouTube encourages affected parties to request its removal as a privacy violation. According to YouTube’s updated Help documentation, these requests must come from the individual concerned, except in specific cases like minors or deceased persons.


However, submitting a takedown request doesn’t guarantee removal. YouTube will evaluate the complaint based on several factors, including whether the content is labelled as synthetic, its potential parody or satirical nature, and its public interest value. The platform also considers if the AI content involves a public figure or depicts sensitive behaviour like criminal activity or political endorsements, especially crucial in an election year.


 

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Once a complaint is lodged, the content uploader has 48 hours to address it. If they remove the content within this period, the complaint is resolved. Otherwise, YouTube initiates a review. Importantly, removal entails fully deleting the video and any personal information associated with it. Simply making the video private won’t suffice, as it could be reverted to public status.


Interestingly, YouTube didn’t widely publicise this policy shift. However, in March, it introduced a tool in Creator Studio for disclosing AI-generated content. More recently, it began testing a feature for adding crowdsourced notes to videos, providing context on whether they are parodies or potentially misleading.


While YouTube isn’t against AI, having experimented with generative AI tools itself, it maintains that AI-labelled content must still comply with its Community Guidelines. Privacy complaints won’t automatically result in strikes against creators, but repeated violations may lead to account actions.


Stay tuned to our blog for more updates on AI policies and their impact on the digital landscape!



 

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