YouTube will remove videos that contain “realistic” GenAI recreations of people’s faces or voices – if they ask for it.

Scarlett Johansson I would be happy to hear this: Youtube Now people can demand that AI-generated content be removed from the platform if the content in question realistically imitates their face or voice.

First discovered by TechCrunchThe TOS update was apparently carried out at the end of June and changes YouTube's Privacy Policy to clarify that it is indeed a violation of privacy if someone uses genAI's tools to embed you in content without your consent.

“If someone has used AI to alter or create synthetic content that looks or sounds like you, you can request that that content be removed. To be eligible for removal, the content must be a realistic altered or synthetic version of your likeness,” YouTube says of the new rule.

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While this provides some protection for people, a request does not 100% guarantee that content will be removed. YouTube says it will consider “various factors” when deciding to remove videos, including whether the content “contains parody, satire, or other public interest” and whether it “features a public figure or well-known person engaging in sensitive activities such as criminal activity, violence, or endorsing a product or political candidate.”

It also takes into account whether the content creator has informed viewers that their video was created by genAI.

When someone files a privacy violation complaint against a video, the uploader has 48 hours to take action. That means they can either remove the image from their video or delete the video entirely. If the uploader doesn't take action within 48 hours, YouTube will step in and begin a review of the video. If a violation is found, the upload may be deleted.

And if the uploader is a repeat offender, he or she could lose his or her account, YouTube warns.

“If we remove your video for a privacy violation, don't upload another version with the same people. Those people will likely file another privacy complaint or report you for harassment,” it says. “We take the protection of our users seriously and will suspend accounts that violate people's privacy.”

YouTube and its parent company Google Both are optimistic about AI, but at the same time must grapple with numerous issues arising from genAI, including concerns about deepfakes. And since we're in the midst of a presidential election year, there will likely be more policy updates about AI in the months leading up to Election Day – on YouTube and elsewhere.