YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki addresses demonetisation controversy

19 Apr 2018

YouTube app. Image: Daniel Krason/Shutterstock

YouTube CEO announces the launch of a pilot group to address mostly unpopular changes.

In a blogpost published yesterday (18 April), YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki said the platform would be launching a pilot programme with a selection of users as part of an attempt to remedy its top creators’ worries around demonetisation of content.

Wojcicki noted that the creator community had been upset by the new eligibility rules around the YouTube Partner Program, which outlined the minimum of 1,000 subscribers or 4,000 hours of accrued watch time over the past 12 months required to reach partner status.

“For those who have not yet met the new threshold, keep creating and building your audience,” Wojcicki said. “We have resources to help you learn and grow. We’ve also heard from you that delays in the application process are frustrating. We are working to make this faster.”

Streamlining the monetisation for creators

The new pilot programme aims to streamline the monetisation process, supposedly making it easier for creators to be confident that their videos meet monetisation guidelines.

Wojcicki explained: “Many of you have said you’re willing to provide more feedback on what’s in your video if it meant you didn’t have to worry about false positives in our monetisation system.

“This month, we’re launching a pilot with a small set of creators to test a new video upload flow that will ask creators to provide specific information about what’s in their video as it relates to our advertiser-friendly guidelines.

“In an ideal world, we’ll eventually get to a state where creators across the platform are able to accurately represent what’s in their videos so that their insights, combined with those of our algorithmic classifiers and human reviewers, will make the monetisation process much smoother with fewer false-positive demonetisations.”

While this move is somewhat positive for the established stars of YouTube, creators who are beginning their journeys on the platform will still likely encounter difficulties.

Are creators jumping ship?

Many other creators on YouTube are threatening to find alternative platforms, particularly if their channels are politically conservative, while the problem of conspiracy channels is presenting a whole new set of issues.

Wojcicki said: “One of the biggest challenges we face is balancing the freedom of expression with our responsibility as a community. We value the incredible diversity of voices on our platform and want to focus our policy changes on where we believe there can be real harm.

“In February, we announced new steps beyond our existing strikes system that we may take in the rare event that one creator’s actions risk harming the entire community. Our goal is to strengthen the community, and we hope to rarely use these new steps.”

YouTube app. Image: Daniel Krason/Shutterstock

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