On the heels of a controversial quarter, YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki sent a newsletter to YouTube users and creators announcing that half of all featured videos on the site’s trending tab will come from YouTube itself. This assurance is meant to alleviate worries from some of YouTube’s most popular content creators who have concerns over copyright challenges, advertising policies, and video monetization, particularly related to YouTube’s favoring of more traditional content (movie trailers, TV clips) on its trending tab.
Aside from creator concerns, just this quarter YouTube has dealt with another child predator scandal (resulting in the shut down of comment sections on most videos featuring minors), faced backlash around monetizing videos that spread misinformation about vaccinations, and faced controversy over videos taken by “the white supremacist mass-murderer who killed scores of people in attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand,” reports TechCrunch.
In the aforementioned newsletter, Wojcicki addressed these incidents. In part, particularly related to what happened in Christchurch, she writes:
“…we took unprecedented action in the wake of the Christchurch tragedy. Our teams immediately sprung into action to remove the violative content. To counter the enormous volume of uploaded videos showing violent imagery, we chose to temporarily break some of our processes and features. That meant a number of videos that didn’t actually violate community guidelines, including a small set of news and commentary, were swept up and kept off the platform (until appealed by its owners and reinstated). But given the stakes, it was another trade-off that we felt was necessary.”
How does this tie into the assurance that YouTube creators will get half of all slots in the trending tab? YouTube is under multiple pressure points and is attempting to address them all, including the combination of public concern over the dissemination of harmful content and keeping creative constraints at a minimum for its popular creators.
“It’s a pivotal moment for YouTube as public pressures mount for the company to take more responsibility for the videos it distributes and the users that make up the bulk of its creative community start chafing under their increasing constraints,” reports TechCrunch.