YouTube CEO promises to do more for creators amid scandals

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In her quarterly letter, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has pledged to do more to support creators on the platform.
In her quarterly letter, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has pledged to do more to support creators on the platform.

Image: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

It’s been a tough quarter for YouTube, and its most popular video creators are worried. Between and an array of scandals, many who produce videos for the platform feel they’ve been cast aside while YouTube focuses other issues like trying to please advertisers.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has now addressed many of these concerns in her most recent . The most important takeaway from the memo: YouTube is pledging that the company will do more to support its most popular video creators.

In the letter, Wojcicki says the company’s goal is to have YouTubers make up at least half of its videos at any given time. Over the years, as more traditional media flocks to YouTube, popular creators feel they’ve been pushed aside. As a vital component of the site, these artists would like some recognition from the company. The trending tab actively promotes some of the most popular content on YouTube and could deliver that support.

One of the most common complaints from YouTube’s creators concerns the company’s vague policies and guidelines. In her letter, Wojcicki shares that YouTube is working on a more detailed public policy outline to establish a better idea of what type of content will or will not cause issues.

When it comes to monetization, Wojcicki says that YouTube is focused on “increasing the accuracy” of its classifiers, which determine whether content is ad-friendly. She also details a Self Certification pilot program that’s rolling out which enables creators to “build up trust” with YouTube’s ad policy systems.

As new trends emerge, YouTube has found itself in a position where it needs to take action against certain types of content. In January, for example, YouTube decided to ban from the platform. Amid the panic this past February, YouTube Momo-related videos. Creators who made “borderline content,” such as prank videos that weren’t against the new policy, could still find that their videos tripped up YouTube’s automated system.

Wojcicki also touches on issues video makers have with its Content ID system. One example the YouTube CEO mentions are copyright claims being made on videos where a song could be heard for a few seconds while filming when walking through a store. The company is currently looking into solutions to help YouTubers deal with such copyright problems.

These issues aren’t new. Wojcicki spent a good portion of assuring content producers that YouTube would be more transparent in the future. The company has taken steps to deliver on that promise, like when it shared what could hurt a video’s monetization status, but many expressed that they’d still like to see more.

YouTube’s head also used her letter to defend the company’s response to recent scandals. After a slew of were found on videos featuring children, the company decide to on kids’ videos going forward. In March, YouTube took action against uploads of the shooters livestream. News and commentary videos that did not violate the platform’s guidelines were also removed in the sweep. Wojcicki says that legitimate creators were affected by these decisions, but the company believes that the trade-off was a necessary one.

Wojcicki’s letter, while positive for content producers, also showcases the difficulties YouTube faces. The platform clearly values video makers and views them as more integral to its success than any other social media company. But, it obviously also values its advertisers. With a reliance on both, YouTube is forced into a constant struggle to find the right balance between advertiser and creator.

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