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YouTube Widens Anti-harassment Policy With Ban On 'implied' Threats, Insults

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YouTube updated its policy on tackling harassment on the video sharing platform by including a ban on "implied" threats and insults based on race, gender identity or sexual orientation.

YouTube said it updated the policy after receiving feedback from creators.

"We also met with a number of experts who shared their perspective and informed our process, from organizations that study online bullying or advocate on behalf of journalists, to free speech proponents and policy organizations from all sides of the political spectrum," Matt Halprin, Vice President, Global Head of Trust & Safety, said in a statement.

"We remain committed to our openness as a platform and to ensuring that spirited debate and a vigorous exchange of ideas continue to thrive here. However, we will not tolerate harassment and we believe the steps outlined below will contribute to our mission by making YouTube a better place for anyone to share their story or opinion," he added.

Moving forward, YouTube will not only prohibit explicit threats, but also veiled or implied threats. This includes content simulating violence toward an individual or language suggesting physical violence may occur.

Channels that repeatedly brush up against the harassment policy will be suspended from the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), eliminating their ability to make money on YouTube. Also, content that repeatedly harass someone will be removed. YouTube warned that if this behavior continues, more severe action including issuing strikes or terminating a channel altogether will be taken.

The California-based video hosting service has also tightened its grip on the comment section.

More than 16 million harassing comments have been removed in the third quarter of this year, and this number is expected to increase in future quarters.

YouTube has given creators the option to review a comment, if it seems potentially inappropriate, before it is posted on their channel.

Last week, YouTube began turning the feature of catching "truly toxic" comments on by default for the site's largest channels. This feature will be rolled out to most channels by the end of the year.

The Google-subsidiary had pledged earlier this year to crack down on "creator-on-creator harassment.

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