In her latest quarterly update, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has re-stated the company's commitment to enforcing platform rules, and rewarding creators, via a key set of tenets that it's using to improve its processes.
As explained by Wojcicki:
"YouTube is built on the premise of openness. Based on this open platform, millions of creators around the world have connected with global audiences and many of them have built thriving businesses in the process. But openness comes with its challenges, which is why we also have Community Guidelines that we update on an ongoing basis."
Wojcicki notes that YouTube has become more than just a hobby for many people, with research indicating that YouTube creators have created 28,000 full-time jobs in Canada alone, while the number of channels earning more than $100,000 continues to climb 40% year over year.
And as the platform becomes a more critical tool for these creative individuals and groups, YouTube itself needs to be more transparent in its policies, and enforce its stated rules more effectively to maintain trust.
To do this, Wojcicki outlines YouTube's "Four R's" guidelines, which direct their process:
- We REMOVE content that violates our policy as quickly as possible. And we’re always looking to make our policies clearer and more effective, as we’ve done with pranks and challenges, child safety, and hate speech just this year. We aim to be thoughtful when we make these updates and consult a wide variety of experts to inform our thinking, for example we talked to dozens of experts as we developed our updated hate speech policy. We also report on the removals we make in our quarterly Community Guidelines enforcement report.
- We RAISE UP authoritative voices when people are looking for breaking news and information, especially during breaking news moments. Our breaking and top news shelves are available in 40 countries and we’re continuing to expand that number.
- We REDUCE the spread of content that brushes right up against our policy line. Already, in the U.S. where we made changes to recommendations earlier this year, we’ve seen a 50% drop of views from recommendations to this type of content, meaning quality content has more of a chance to shine. And we've begun experimenting with this change in the UK, Ireland, South Africa and other English-language markets.
- And we set a higher bar for what channels can make money on our site, REWARDING trusted, eligible creators. Not all content allowed on YouTube is going to match what advertisers feel is suitable for their brand, we have to be sure they are comfortable with where their ads appear. This is also why we’re enabling new revenue streams for creators like Super Chat and Memberships. Thousands of channels have more than doubled their total YouTube revenue by using these new tools in addition to advertising.
The points themselves provide a good overview of YouTube's policy focus, and where it's seeking to improve. The platform has come under fire in recent times over the way it enables the spread of fake news content, and can amplify hate speech. Wojcicki's notes address these aspects, and point to initiatives designed to better align with audience and creator expectation.
These won't solve all of YouTube's issues, but it is worth noting how YouTube is working to better manage such concerns.
You can read Wojcicki's full quarterly update here.