Living upto responsibility, support creator & artist success and improving communication and engagement are the top priorities of Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube.
In a Q2 letter released for the creators and artist community of YouTube, Susan shares the platform’s priority for the upcoming quarter.
Susan Wojcicki says new heights have been observed with the new creative peaks reached by the global creator community and YouTube is always balancing maintaining an open platform with managing the community guidelines. However, the number of incidents seen in the last months lead them to take more stricter action.
She further ellaborates her priorities in the Q2 Letter.
Living up to responsibility
In February YouTube announced the suspension of comments on most YouTube videos that feature minors. This was done to protect children from predatory comments (with the exception of a small number of channels that have the manpower needed to actively moderate their comments and take additional steps to protect children). Susan knows this change also impacted many creators who are innocent—from professional creators to young people or the parents who are posting videos. But the trade-off was made for protecting children on the platform.
The following month an unprecedented action was taken in the wake of the Christchurch tragedy and the devastating Sri Lankan attacks. Removal of uploaded videos showing violent imagery and videos that didn’t actually violate community guidelines, but included a small set of news and commentary were found to be necessary, to limit the spread of hate and misinformation.
Support creator and artist success
Recently Susan sat down with a number of creators in Japan and India and did videos with Korea Grandma in Seoul and Prajakta Koli, or MostlySane, in Mumbai. Back at home, she shared drinks and some honest conversation with Shane Dawson, James Charles, Collins and Devan Key, Ethan and Hila Klein, and Safiya Nygaard. Susan was inspired to see how all these creators have invested so deeply in YouTube.
From the feedback received, the top issue came out to be wanting more clarity around community guidelines and advertiser-friendly policies.
Other issues being, looking for better representation of creators on trending, growing online harassment from fellow creators, and the frustration boiling from copyright claims that are less than 10 seconds or incidental.
To support the issue subjecting clarity on community guidelines and ad policies, Susan says, “ We plan to add more detail to our policies so that creators can make the best decisions on their content. Our Self Certification pilot is a great example of why this is so crucial. With this program, creators can self report how their video complies with ad policies and build up trust that our systems adjust to. And on monetization, we’ll continue to focus on increasing the accuracy of the classifiers representing the advertising friendly guidelines, something we know is important for all creators. Since January, we’ve already improved the precision of the classifier by 25%.”
A common complaint heard is it doesn’t seem to reflect what people are watching on the platform and that too many of the same creators show up time and time again. Susan thinks that trending is meant to show content that a wide range of viewers would find interesting so it’s important they don’t contain profanity or mature content. Eligible videos are then ranked based on a calculation of their “temperature”—how quickly that video is generating views.
Going forward YouTube’s goal is to have at least half the videos on trending come from YouTubers (with the remainder coming from music and traditional media). They also plan to make sure this is a diverse set of creators. And ramping up their Creator on the Rise and Gaming Creator on the Rise initiatives, will continue.
While criticism from fellow creators can be considered constructive, any threats or doxing is considered crossing the line and is already prohibited on the platform. YouTube plans to do more to discourage this from happening on the platform.
Addressing the copyright issue Susan states, “We are still very concerned about Article 13 (now renamed Article 17) that recently passed in the E.U. While we support the rights of copyright holders—YouTube has deals with almost all the music companies and TV broadcasters today—we are concerned about the vague, untested requirements of the new directive.”
Susan thinks the directive could create serious limitations for what YouTube creators can upload. It risks lowering the revenue of music & media companies and may potentially devastate European creators who have built their businesses on YouTube.
Improving communication and engagement
YouTube says they are committed to listening to feedback and concerns. They’ll be making a big push to meet creators where they want to communicate— through social, video, and one-on-one sessions. Susan also plans on sitting down with more creators in 2019.
YouTube has also updated their policies to a more simpler and transparent system after hearing from creators that the community guidelines strike system felt inconsistent and confusing.
As an endnote to th creators Susan says, “You’re at the cutting edge of culture. Your stories are helping the world to connect and learn. Please continue to share your voice and your feedback with us-it helps us make our platform stronger.”