I think it was you and I that have had this conversation before, maybe about Uber. Silicon Valley is all about removing people from the chain of responsibility. Anytime that they can make software rather than people in charge, VC's will throw billions at the problem/solution.
And on the one hand, I want them to institute a policy along the lines of "as soon as we start paying a Youtuber a thousand bucks, we'll have a human watch their videos to make sure that humanity is not harmed by paying them."
Hell there are youtubers who rate and review marijuana, which is still technically against federal law. Those videos are monetized. The unboxing channels are for all intents and purposes ads themselves and it was not until a few years ago that youtubers were forced to comply with FTC guidelines about paid endorsements. The Instagram "celebrities" are now getting the same treatment after years of getting away with violating the rules. The problem with making humans look at this content is that there is so much of it that you are talking about tens of thousands of man-hours on behalf of youtube a week just to look at the existing, not to mention the new people that hit this mark. Youtube costs Google a net loss of about 2-3 billion dollars a year according to their SEC filings; Youtube has on the order of $10 Billion in servers to host and serve all that video which is why there is not a real Youtube alternative out there.
Let's not forget the whole Youtube Hero's nonsense where Google tried to outsource this to unpaid volunteers. The people who take that mantle are almost always the absolute wrong people to do the job. Ideologues, paid shills, 4Chan janitors, reddit moderators (no offense). I really do not like the idea of a PAC like ALEC or CodeBlue paying people to sit on Youtube and flag videos that are opposed to their ideaology which is what is going to happen in the long run. And if you thought the 2016 election was a shit show....
Which brings me to your next line.
I don't want Youtube determining what's harmful to humanity and what isn't.
Humans have biases and they suck at making rational judgements when emotions kick in. There are several channels on the right and on the left complaining that Youtube is arbitrary in how it demonetizes videos. There was recently a wave of videos that were deemed "Not Advertiser Friendly" where homosexual teens and young adults talked about coming out into the open were demonetized and hidden. The sagas of some of the let's play video streamers are legendary; they have been fighting fair use issues since forever. Even the software they use will have a bias based on the in-group of the programmers. Filter bubbles are bad enough as it is. With youtube being the 800 pound gorilla and really no other major game in town (vid.me, Vimeo, etc are way too small and any mass migration are going to kill those sites) the only really hope we have is that a functional government can put pressure on them to obey the rules.
and then I'm reminded that the FCC is not going to be dealing with fuckall in anything like a positive manner for quite some time
Sigh. And when Trump resigns at the end of summer and President Pence takes over it is not going to get any better.