YouTube Now Lets You Report AI-Generated Videos That Look Like You: Here’s How

Video sharing giant says it has tightened up YouTube privacy guidelines to address privacy concerns and protect users.

YouTube is fighting back against the relentless rise of deepfake videos – one of the more concerning current AI trends – by giving its users a clearer way to report such content.

In updating its privacy guidelines, YouTube sets out the steps that it requires people to follow in situations where “AI-generated or other synthetic content that looks or sounds like you” have been discovered.

The guidelines – which the company says are in place to protect users and address potential privacy concerns – apply to people the world over, regardless of the privacy laws in their own country.

What Content Can be Reported?

The YouTube Privacy Guidelines set out the circumstances under which privacy violation notices can be raised, with the factors it will consider when evaluating complaints and defining who is able to raise the claim.

It says that you can request a video to be removed from the platform if “someone has used AI to alter or create synthetic content that looks or sounds like you”. It then qualifies that criterion, saying that “the content should depict a realistic altered or synthetic version of your likeness”.

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Ultimately, it will then be up to the discretion of YouTube’s moderators to evaluate complaints by considering several factors.

The content, it says, must be altered or synthetic, its subject must be uniquely identified, and it must be realistic. YouTube will also consider whether the video “contains parody, satire or other public interest value” and, if it features a public figure, whether they are “engaging in a sensitive behavior such as criminal activity, violence, or endorsing a product or political candidate”.

How to Report a Privacy Violation

If you think that an AI-generated video on YouTube violates these guidelines, then it can be reported by taking the following steps:

  • Head to the platform’s Privacy Complaint Process page
  • Click through the screening questions. You’ll be urged to consider whether the video is also a case of harassment, to contact the uploader directly first, to review its Community Guidelines, and warns against “abusing the privacy process”
  • Click “Report altered or synthetic content” button
  • Complete and submit the complaint form, including your personal details, information about the offending video, and providing any relevant supporting evidence

YouTube says it will then notify the uploader of the privacy complaint and provide them an opportunity to remove or edit their content. They’re given 48 hours in which to respond.

If the uploader removes the video or YouTube takes further action, you’ll subsequently be notified.

Who Can Report a Privacy Violation?

It’s worth noting that, except in specified circumstances, only ‘first-party’ claims can be made. You can’t raise a complaint on behalf of somebody else who has had their likeness exploited.

The exhaustive list of exceptions include claims made on behalf of children, vulnerable adults, the deceased, somebody without access to the internet, and where the claim is made by a legal representative.

The offended party must also be able to show that they are uniquely identifiable in the video.

“To be considered uniquely identifiable, there must be enough information in the video that allows others to recognize you. Note that just because you can identify yourself within the video, it does not mean you’re uniquely identifiable to others. A first name without additional context or a fleeting image, for example, would not likely qualify as uniquely identifiable.” – YouTube Privacy Guidelines

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Written by:
Now a freelance writer, Adam is a journalist with over 10 years experience – getting his start at UK consumer publication Which?, before working across titles such as TechRadar, Tom's Guide and What Hi-Fi with Future Plc. From VPNs and antivirus software to cricket and film, investigations and research to reviews and how-to guides; Adam brings a vast array of experience and interests to his writing.
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