Facebook has teamed up with Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft to fight the proliferation of terrorist content on the Web. The tech giants will create a shared industry database of hashes for violent terrorist imagery, terrorist recruitment videos, or images they have removed from their services.
They may use these shared hashes to help identify potential terrorist content on their platforms. Hashes to be shared will apply to content that’s most likely to violate all the companies’ content policies.
“Each one of the companies that is part of this agreement has its own specific definitions, practices and processes in place for governments to make requests to them for user data and to remove content,” YouTube explained in policy notes provided to TechNewsWorld by company rep Stephanie Shih. “Any such requests for information will be routed through each company to handle as they normally do per its individual policies and procedures.”
No personally identifiable information will be shared. There will be no automated takedowns of terrorism-related content. Each company will retain its own process for dealing with appeals against its removal of content.
The four will apply their own transparency and review practices when responding to any government requests.
YouTube may have originated on the desktop (more than a decade ago!), but now mobile and the living room are two of its most important platforms. The latter is receiving an update today: Game consoles, streaming devices like Roku, smart TVs and of course the Chromecast will all get a small but important change. Now, when you load up YouTube, you’ll be presented with a variety of different content tabs right at the top of the interface. It’s now much easier to flip through topics like sports, news, comedy, music, entertainment and so forth.
Google previously had similar categories hidden in the left-side menu bar, but the company thinks that moving them front and center will help users find content faster and keep them watching longer. The categories themselves have also been refined a bit, with some new additions and subtractions getting to the 14 total you’ll find now. It’s something YouTube has been working on ever since it started designing its own consistent interface across the big screen in 2013. Previously, YouTube had an open API that device makers could tap into and make their apps, but that led to inconsistent experiences and new features being left behind.
YouTube has revamped the services it offers on its standalone smart TV app to better accommodate users watching on devices like Apple TV and Roku.
The Google-owned web video site today released its new smart TV app with a simpler, more streamlined interface to help viewers more quickly find the videos they love to watch on the Tube.
“We are investing to deliver a lean back experience through recommendations,” the company told Fortune via email. “This will be available today in the YouTube app in smart TVs, game consoles, and streaming boxes in the US, but we plan to roll out to more countries in the future.”
The company points out more than half of the 18-to-49-year-old users it recently surveyed in the U.S. said they have watched YouTube videos on their televisions. And since 2015, Tube viewers have doubled the amount of time they spend watching videos on the app.
Shirley Curry is known to the online universe as the Gaming Grandma. She is an 80-year-old widow from Virginia who spends hours every day in front of her computer, much of the time playing the video game Skyrim. She has what’s been described as a huge cult following on YouTube, where people tune in in droves to watch her play and hear her running commentary. YouTube gaming channels bring in more than 3.5 billion views each month.
In addition to being a YouTube star at age 80, Grandma Shirley tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, emails, and is actually pretty much adored by the fine folks at Reddit, who are generally not known for their adoring ways.
I think it is really weird. There are a lot of older gamers on YouTube, but I just happened to use my real picture and was open about telling my age.
— Shirley Curry
No two ways about it: Grandma Shirley is a rock star. But even she has a problem with that. By making such a big deal about an older person just because they know their way around the digital world, it underscores the stereotype that most don’t. And that’s not true, says Grandma Shirley.