YouTube CEO says tougher punishments for content creators are imminent

2 Feb 2018

YouTube on mobile. Image: mirtmirt/Shutterstock

YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki outlines her goals for the video community.

YouTube has had a tumultuous start to its year after popular creator Logan Paul uploaded a controversial video that brought the company’s moderation issues even further into the global spotlight.

In 2017, it also dealt with a series of problems surrounding content geared towards children, some of which was disturbing and unsuitable for the intended audience.

In response to its troubles, YouTube has vowed to hire more moderators as well as severing business ties with Paul following the ‘suicide forest’ video scandal.

New company goals

CEO Susan Wojcicki has publicised a series of goals for the company in an effort to communicate better with creators on the platform.

The most notable one is her doubling down on the need to enforce content policies in a much stricter manner, leading to more severe punishments for offending creators such as Paul. “We’re also currently developing policies that would lead to consequences if a creator does something egregious that causes significant harm to our community as a whole.

“While these instances are rare, they can damage the reputation and revenue of your fellow creators, so we want to make sure we have policies in place that allow us to respond appropriately.”

Mirroring the statements of many other tech companies, Wojcicki said YouTube would also be prioritising solutions to combat fake news, as well as refining policies that were previously unclear.

Communication is key

YouTube will prioritise transparency and communication through forums, blogposts and its Twitter handles to respond to issues in more efficient ways.

Wojcicki said there would be more requests for creator feedback prior to the launch of new features and updates.

She also addressed the major issue of demonetisation, which has been a bone of contention among creators for some time. Many creators have complained about their work being deemed unsuitable for advertising, causing them to miss out on revenue.

“While we worked hard this year to provide an appeals system and quicker responses to creators when a video is demonetised, we’ve heard loud and clear that we need a better system.

“We’re currently working on a more accurate solution that includes more human review of your content, while also taking your own input into account, since you know your videos best,” she said.

YouTube will be pushing YouTube Red this year, as well as its revamped YouTube music experience. It is also testing new revenue streams for content creators.

New innovations in AR and VR are expected and Wojcicki said this was in response to requests for engagement-boosting and interactive features.

The platform is also set to be increasing its investment in learning and educational content, which currently drives more than 1bn views a day, according to Wojcicki. “The potential of our creators to enhance education and learning is incredible, so we’re going to do more to take advantage of the massive, modern-day video library that YouTube has become.”

YouTube on mobile. Image: mirtmirt/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects