YouTube’s Content ID system has drawn the ire from plenty of Internet users. Important moments in history have been ruined thanks to the trigger happy ID matching program that seems to serve content curators over users. This year alone has seen two embarrassing instances of the Content ID system being abused – the Mars Rover landing and the Democratic National Convention. YouTube hopefully has a few fixes so stuff like this doesn’t happen again.
YouTube says that a lot of the problems with the Content ID system comes from the fact that the system has over 500,000 hours of reference files to pull from. A video that even remotely matches the content that copyright owners have uploaded will be taken down with extreme prejudice. That’s a problem, and YouTube has introduced a new appeals process to make things easier.
Those who have their videos blocked on copyright grounds will now be able to appeal the decision. The new appeals process takes the fight directly to the content owner with two options – rescind the claim or file an actual DMCA takedown request. YouTube’s Content ID system was abused so much in the past because there was no actual DMCA requests involved. Requiring trolls to actually file a request should help cut down on illegitimate takedowns.
YouTube is also introducing a manual review process for claims. Those 500,000 hours of reference material can sometimes unintentionally cause a video to be blocked. The YouTube team has improved the algorithm used in this process, but they will also manually review videos that have been flagged. The video in question won’t be taken offline until it’s been manually reviewed.
Finally, YouTube has improved the matching technology that sits at the center of the Content ID system. Better algorithms are one part of the solution, but they will continue to build out their reference library to make sure that videos uploaded to YouTube aren’t affected by bogus claims.
It will be interesting to see if the Content ID system actually improves over the coming weeks. YouTube has to build back trust with a public that doesn’t necessarily trust its system or those who seemingly abuse it. In the meantime, here’s hoping a bogus claim from CNN or Fox News doesn’t take down the first presidential debate streaming live on YouTube tonight.