YouTube has recently updated its policy to add a new item to its list of ‘harmful or dangerous content.’ The broadcaster and video sharing platform will include ‘instructional hacking and phishing’ videos on a list in a bid to crack down on content that shows users how to bypass computer security systems and steal credentials or personal data.
The change comes amidst sharp criticism for the platform making a profit out of other people’s copyrights for posting content that violates its policies. Under the change, any videos showing users how to conduct a hack or phishing attack will be removed.
On Wednesday, The Register reported that, although there was a written rule, there was still concern about how the policy would be put into practice. ‘A lack of clarity about the permissibility of cyber-security related content has been an issue for years. In the past, hacking videos could be removed if enough viewers submitted reports or moderators found the videos.’ The written rule is no guarantee that anything will change.
Security research called Kody Kinzie also raised concerns about the new rule. He attempted to upload a video created for the annual US July 4 holiday, but couldn’t do so because of the change. He was concerned that those teaching about infosec would be affected. It is hard, boring and expensive to learn cybersecurity, he wrote on Twitter.
learning. It is hard, often boring, and expensive to learn cybersecurity.
— Kody (@KodyKinzie) 2 July 2019
Kinzie indicated that YouTube had already flagged three previous videos and was reviewing them or in the process of restoring the content.