As part of its quarterly community guidelines implementation report, YouTube plans to share new statistical information called VVR. This statistic is short for “Violate View Rate” and details the percentage of views on YouTube from content that violates the company’s community guidelines. In fact, it is a measure of how well YouTube implements its own platform.
By the end of 2020, the company stated that its VVR rate is between 0.16% and 0.18%. This means that 16 to 18 out of every 10,000 views on the platform come from videos that violate its content guidelines.
YouTube said the current figure is down more than 70% from when it first started tracking VVR in 2017. The company attributed its sharp decline to its investment in machine learning technology to capture inappropriate content.
YouTube claims that VVR is a better measure of its performance than tracking how long a suspicious video stays on the platform. This may be correct, but there is an important caveat in all respects.
VVR data provides important background information on how we protect the community. Other metrics, such as the turnaround time to delete offending videos, are also important. However, they do not fully reflect the actual impact of the offending content on viewers. For example, compare an offending video.
The video received 100 views but stayed on our platform for more than 24 hours, and its content reached thousands of views in the first few hours before it was deleted. Which one will have a greater impact in the end?
Youtube believes that VVR is our best way to understand how harmful content affects viewers and determine what needs to be improved.
This is the statistics, which only includes videos that violate company policies. There are still many suspicious clips entering YouTube, and people may find them to be problematic, but they do not necessarily violate the company’s community guidelines.
Some videos fall into the “border” category, such as a live broadcast of a “documentary” outside of the recent mass shooting in Boulder.
The company decided to withdraw after consideration. YouTube does not include these factors in the statistics and only allows us to understand only part of its law enforcement work.