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YouTube will share how often users watch videos that break its rules

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Google's YouTube is one of the most popular platforms on the internet, and that means it's prone to some abuse. The company has an ever-changing set of Community Guidelines and, every three months, it shares a report on how its work to enforce those guidelines is going. Soon, that report is getting a new metric that reveals how much exposure rule-breaking videos get on the platform.

The new metric is called Violative View Rate (VVR), and as mentioned above, it exposes how often its users are viewing content that breaks its Community Guidelines. The numbers are measured by taking a sample of video views on the platform, and then having content reviewers take a look at whether those videos violate its rules. YouTube has been tracking this data internally since 2017, but it will now be available to the public.

According to YouTube, the last quarter of 2020 saw anywhere between 0.16% and 0.18% of views come from violative content, and in the chart below, you can see how the platform has been making progress in diminishing the impact of said content over the years. The company also warns that fluctuations in its numbers are bound to happen whenever the Community Guidelines get updated, since that can result in more videos being taken down.

Chart showing the historic VVR values from 2017 to 2020

The platform takes down rule-breaking videos as quickly as possible based on automated flagging and user reports, and Google has claimed that the vast majority of videos get taken down before they get even 10 views. In the latest quarterly report, from October to December 2020, 35.9% of videos removed were taken down before they got any views, and another 35.9% has between 1 and 10 views at the time of removal.

That leaves 28.2% of rule-breaking videos that get at least 10 views, but it's possible that many of them go well beyond that number. That's where VVR can be helpful in understanding the broader impact of content that violates YouTube's rules. This information will be available in future quarterly reports in a new Views tab.

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