June 19, 2006 4:00 AM PDT

Video sites grapple with specter of smut

(continued from previous page)

Yahoo Video has installed a screening system that, when applied, prevents visitors from accessing adult content that may wind up on the site. Google, which has a similar screening system for its photo site, hasn't installed one for Google Video. In its e-mail to News.com, the company said it has added new screening methods but declined to provide details.

YouTube doesn't prescreen any videos, said company spokeswoman Julie Supan. People are technically able to post anything they want, immediately. The company's user agreement, however--like those at most rival sites--prohibits material that could be considered pornographic, obscene or unlawful, and YouTube leaves it to the community to report violations.

"As the largest community for video on the Web, we could not review all the content that goes up on the site," Supan said. "Community policing on the Internet has proven very effective over the last 10 years."

YouTube users can flag content they think violates the user agreement. If a video collects enough flags (the company declines to publish the number), YouTube will review the clip, and pull it if executives agree the material is objectionable, Supan said.

But not all flagged material gets pulled. If executives think a clip doesn't violate the agreement, it remains on the site but is accessible only to registered users 18 and older. YouTube encourages visitors to register, a process that requires entering a birth date. People who say they're younger than 13 are barred from registering.

This restriction process, however, can be circumvented. In one instance, News.com encountered a clip that had been flagged and restricted, but an identical, unrestricted clip was available under a slightly different title.

And there's no guarantee that a potentially objectionable clip will come to light to begin with. An unrestricted clip of a female television host in Europe, who spoke to a live audience while wearing only a bikini bottom, was available on the site for at least three days.

Over at Google Video, which also said it relies on user feedback to monitor content, material uploaded in recent weeks includes a parody of a car commercial that features an announcer using numerous expletives during a mock sales pitch.

"Self-policing flat out doesn't work," said Peter Pham, director of business development at Photobucket, a fast-growing photo-sharing site that has recently jumped into video. "The problem is that most of the people finding this material are the people who are looking for this material. And they aren't going to complain."

By eyeballing each frame of every clip submitted, companies such as Photobucket and San Diego-based start-up vMix want to avoid angering advertisers or family advocates. All videos on Photobucket's site get reviewed, Pham said. The company has developed software that creates a frame-by-frame "map" of a video, allowing workers to evaluate content at a glance, Pham said, adding that Photobucket recently hired 50 people to monitor incoming video and photos.

A family-friendly site doesn't come cheap. The projected cost of all of this is $2 million per year, Pham said. VMix is doing something similar on a smaller scale.

"What you are trying to do is discourage people from posting this kind of material on your site," Jeff Davids, VMix's chief financial officer, said at the Digital Media Summit in Los Angeles earlier this month. "If they see that their material isn't going up on the site, they're going to go someplace else."

Prescreening may work for small companies that own a minuscule market share. According to traffic-tracking site Hitwise, more than 42 percent of all visits to video-sharing sites occurred at YouTube. The privately held company would conceivably need hundreds, if not thousands, of personnel reviewing video.

And that won't guarantee a clean site, Supan said. "There are always going to be people who try to take advantage of the system, whatever it is," she said.

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30 comments

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What the ???
"CNET News.com unearthed scenes of beheadings, masturbation, bloody car accidents, bondage and sadomasochism. It's important to note that no child pornography was discovered."


Excellent! At least there was no child pornography!

What the hell is happening to the USA. Kids watching beheadings, masturbation, bloody car accidents, bondage and sadomasochism is all fine - as long as they don't see child pornography.

The same mentality is behind the latest video game legislation. Kids can rip out each other's virtual guts all day long, as long as they don't see bare breasts!
Posted by just_some_guy (231 comments )
Reply Link Flag
smut
I totally agree. The kind of violence that is being perpetuated against the children and the people over all is really terrible! By showing children these kinds of horrible imagaes you desensitize them.
The issue few people are raising is this, "How are they getting all of those millions women they are using on the beastiality network?"

dianne
Posted by emeraldgate (53 comments )
Link Flag
The article didn't say kids were watching those things...
but the author does like to use "sensational journalism" to try to make you think that way. I'm thouroughly disappointed by the level of "journalism" is this article, and is the first time I even read a piece by Greg whatever his last name is. Not the usual level of good reporting by Cnet.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
'cause its illegal
I think the "no child pornography" line was there because possession of child porn is illegal in the US. While the rest may be morally reprehensible, distrubing, and can hardly be held as "entertainment", its not illegal to own.

From the ECPAT website:
"Title 18 United States Code, Sections 2251, 2252, and 2252A, criminalize acts of knowingly producing (or aiding in the production of), advertising or soliciting for, possessing, selling, receiving, reproducing, exchanging, sending or transmitting (by mail or via computer) child pornography."
Posted by ScottMo (71 comments )
Link Flag
What the ???
"CNET News.com unearthed scenes of beheadings, masturbation, bloody car accidents, bondage and sadomasochism. It's important to note that no child pornography was discovered."


Excellent! At least there was no child pornography!

What the hell is happening to the USA. Kids watching beheadings, masturbation, bloody car accidents, bondage and sadomasochism is all fine - as long as they don't see child pornography.

The same mentality is behind the latest video game legislation. Kids can rip out each other's virtual guts all day long, as long as they don't see bare breasts!
Posted by just_some_guy (231 comments )
Reply Link Flag
smut
I totally agree. The kind of violence that is being perpetuated against the children and the people over all is really terrible! By showing children these kinds of horrible imagaes you desensitize them.
The issue few people are raising is this, "How are they getting all of those millions women they are using on the beastiality network?"

dianne
Posted by emeraldgate (53 comments )
Link Flag
The article didn't say kids were watching those things...
but the author does like to use "sensational journalism" to try to make you think that way. I'm thouroughly disappointed by the level of "journalism" is this article, and is the first time I even read a piece by Greg whatever his last name is. Not the usual level of good reporting by Cnet.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
'cause its illegal
I think the "no child pornography" line was there because possession of child porn is illegal in the US. While the rest may be morally reprehensible, distrubing, and can hardly be held as "entertainment", its not illegal to own.

From the ECPAT website:
"Title 18 United States Code, Sections 2251, 2252, and 2252A, criminalize acts of knowingly producing (or aiding in the production of), advertising or soliciting for, possessing, selling, receiving, reproducing, exchanging, sending or transmitting (by mail or via computer) child pornography."
Posted by ScottMo (71 comments )
Link Flag
The word is "minuscule"
not "miniscule"
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The word is "minuscule"
not "miniscule"
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Solution
Google and company can harness the power of the internet to give the uploaded videos proper content flags. There is simply no other way to examine 2,500 hours of vide each day. They could set up a system where those who want to earn free services or whatever could rate/flag a certain number of videos per week. By default the search engine would not return videos that were not rated or flagged by at least 2 reviewers. Of course the reviewers would have to agree to watch the smut and/or violence. And the customer should always have the option to turn the filters off.
Posted by JediJ0e (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
BREAT idea!!!
At least there is ONE other in here who possesses an IQ higher than their shoe size! :)
Posted by btl-jooz (81 comments )
Link Flag
Solution
Google and company can harness the power of the internet to give the uploaded videos proper content flags. There is simply no other way to examine 2,500 hours of vide each day. They could set up a system where those who want to earn free services or whatever could rate/flag a certain number of videos per week. By default the search engine would not return videos that were not rated or flagged by at least 2 reviewers. Of course the reviewers would have to agree to watch the smut and/or violence. And the customer should always have the option to turn the filters off.
Posted by JediJ0e (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
BREAT idea!!!
At least there is ONE other in here who possesses an IQ higher than their shoe size! :)
Posted by btl-jooz (81 comments )
Link Flag
BEFORE you post READ the WHOLE article???
To all you people who live in a glass bell with a vacuum in it:

The REAL world is NOT as sugar coated as all of you save the children types wants it to be. THAT is REALITY!!!!

My suggestion, to you all is to learn to police your children YOURSELVES by using filtering programs on your computers. You know enough about computers to get here. Browse the Downloads Section and install filtering programs on your computers and USE them. Monitor your children WHILE they are ONLINE!!!!!!! See for yourself where they go online and WHAT the DO! AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: teach them the difference between 'make believe' and REALITY __AND__ HOW to HANDLE reality when they happen across it in their WHOLE lives, not just online!!! Otherwise they will be ill equipped to handle the REAL world in a proper and HEALTHY way once they are adults.
Posted by btl-jooz (81 comments )
Reply Link Flag
BEFORE you post READ the WHOLE article???
To all you people who live in a glass bell with a vacuum in it:

The REAL world is NOT as sugar coated as all of you save the children types wants it to be. THAT is REALITY!!!!

My suggestion, to you all is to learn to police your children YOURSELVES by using filtering programs on your computers. You know enough about computers to get here. Browse the Downloads Section and install filtering programs on your computers and USE them. Monitor your children WHILE they are ONLINE!!!!!!! See for yourself where they go online and WHAT the DO! AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: teach them the difference between 'make believe' and REALITY __AND__ HOW to HANDLE reality when they happen across it in their WHOLE lives, not just online!!! Otherwise they will be ill equipped to handle the REAL world in a proper and HEALTHY way once they are adults.
Posted by btl-jooz (81 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Smut keeps technology and the internet alive
Smut led the way to home videos and now downloading videos. Keep the smut to ensure the growth of technology advances. Have a need to eliminate something? Then go after politicians and religious nutjobs.
Posted by (156 comments )
Reply Link Flag
religious nut jobs?
nothing like anti christian bigotry...poor liberals even one less porn sight out of the zillions would affend you or any where else that matters
Posted by newcreation (118 comments )
Link Flag
Smut keeps technology and the internet alive
Smut led the way to home videos and now downloading videos. Keep the smut to ensure the growth of technology advances. Have a need to eliminate something? Then go after politicians and religious nutjobs.
Posted by (156 comments )
Reply Link Flag
religious nut jobs?
nothing like anti christian bigotry...poor liberals even one less porn sight out of the zillions would affend you or any where else that matters
Posted by newcreation (118 comments )
Link Flag
What to do
In my experience, there are always ways to report videos that are offensive. Sometimes it's a button that says "report this content/post as offensive". I think most people who see this sort of thing will report it. They don't need staff to prescreen 2500 hours of video per day, the viewers (millions of us) will do that for them. Perhaps they need a section that is FOR kids. Maybe they need a rating system. Buttons for "unacceptable" content and "PG" content and "safe for kids" content. Then they could screen all those ones that have been reported and put them in their proper places. Putting unacceptable in the trash and PG behind a net and safe for kids out into the open. An SSL based voting system would virtually ensure that offensive content doesn't accidentally (or as a prank) get put where kids can easily access it. Meaning that somebody couldn't repeatedly vote for content improperly so as to make it automatically appear safe for kids. The majority of people are pretty honest anyways. Content that doesn't get enough votes remains unrated and stays behind the safety nets. Just a thought.
Posted by MrMailing (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What to do
In my experience, there are always ways to report videos that are offensive. Sometimes it's a button that says "report this content/post as offensive". I think most people who see this sort of thing will report it. They don't need staff to prescreen 2500 hours of video per day, the viewers (millions of us) will do that for them. Perhaps they need a section that is FOR kids. Maybe they need a rating system. Buttons for "unacceptable" content and "PG" content and "safe for kids" content. Then they could screen all those ones that have been reported and put them in their proper places. Putting unacceptable in the trash and PG behind a net and safe for kids out into the open. An SSL based voting system would virtually ensure that offensive content doesn't accidentally (or as a prank) get put where kids can easily access it. Meaning that somebody couldn't repeatedly vote for content improperly so as to make it automatically appear safe for kids. The majority of people are pretty honest anyways. Content that doesn't get enough votes remains unrated and stays behind the safety nets. Just a thought.
Posted by MrMailing (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
THINK OF YOU TUBE AS THE CIA,IF THEY ARE STUPID ENOUGH TO SMUT THEMSELVES IN PLAIN VIEW,THEY CAN BE THE TARGET OF THE RIGHTIOUS ANGERT THAT WILL GET THEM EVENTUALLY,DEATH TO CHILD MOLESTERS!!AND RAPIST!!
Posted by HABAKKUK = (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
THINK OF YOU TUBE AS THE CIA,IF THEY ARE STUPID ENOUGH TO SMUT THEMSELVES IN PLAIN VIEW,THEY CAN BE THE TARGET OF THE RIGHTIOUS ANGERT THAT WILL GET THEM EVENTUALLY,DEATH TO CHILD MOLESTERS!!AND RAPIST!!
Posted by HABAKKUK = (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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