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YouTube video thumbnails feature bestiality images after site promised to moderate videos

Simple searches on the site such as "girl and her horse" are showing thumbnail results of women engaging in sexual intercourse with animals
UPDATED JAN 22, 2020
(Source: Getty Images)
(Source: Getty Images)

YouTube has had a rash of bestiality images and videos in recent times and this is angering a lot of users. The videosharing platform had promised to moderate the uploading of thumbnails with sensitive content after Logan Paul's disastrous Japan video.

Simple searches on the site such as "girl and her horse" are showing thumbnail results of women engaging in sexual intercourse with animals. Quite of few of these erotic thumbnail images for the videos have been on the website for months now and they haven't taken them down.

YouTube has come under a lot of flack for not taking down videos with explicit thumbnails (Getty Images)

Many users on the site have managed to find a loophole to the AI filters that the site's developers have added. The human moderators for YouTube have also not been able to do much about trying to stop the uploads from happening because users add the explicit content only in the thumbnail images that appear when you search for a video.

One of the employees from the platform, who has not been named, told BuzzFeed News that the algorithms that monitor the videos are much more effective compared to the ones that monitor the thumbnails.

The discovery was made by a team from BuzzFeed News which reported that the images of bestiality are very "easy to find" on the videostreaming platform.

The report made by the team found that the videos themselves did not have any explicit content and only features women in bikinis petting or grooming the horses but the thumbnails had images of an explicit nature. Many of these erotic thumbnails showed women having sex with horses.

The channels that use the explicit thumbnails for their video are doing so because they are "advertising" said videos but the platform had not taken any of the videos down. The report by BuzzFeed found that just a simple search on YouTube like "girl and her horse" has more than 12 million results that show up.

The videos themselves do not contain any bestiality and if the link was clicked, YouTube's recommended section starts showing more of these animal-related videos.

A spokesperson for YouTube told  Daily Mail in response to BuzzFeed's report: "These images are abhorrent to us and have no place on YouTube. We have strict policies against misleading thumbnails, and violative content flagged to us by Buzzfeed has been removed."

"We're working quickly to do more than ever to tackle abuse on our platform, and that includes developing better tools for detecting inappropriate and misleading metadata and thumbnails so we can take fast action against them."

"In the last quarter of 2017 we removed over eight million videos for violating our policies and we will continue to invest heavily here to tackle this problem head on."

Horses were featured in the thumbnails engaging in sex with women (Getty Images)

In December 2017, the videosharing platform announced that it was going to hire 10,000 extra human moderators to keep an eye on the videos after users voiced concerns that there was too much explicit content being uploaded.

The COO of the site, Susan Wojcicki, said that YouTube's enforcement teams had already reviewed more than 2 million videos for extremist content over the previous six months. She also said that they had removed about 150,000 videos from the site.

98% of the videos that were taken down were flagged by the "computer learning" algorithms initially and almost half of them were deleted within just a two hour time span from the time they were uploaded. 70% of the videos were taken down within eight hours.

Wojcicki said: "Our goal is to stay one step ahead, making it harder for policy-violating content to surface or remain on YouTube."

"We will use our cutting-edge machine learning more widely to allow us to quickly remove content that violates our guidelines."