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Strengthening YouTube for advertisers and creators

By Ariel Bardin

Vice President, Product Management

At YouTube, we believe everyone should have a voice. Since our founding, free expression has been one of our core values, allowing creators to share their ideas with over a billion fans from around the world. We also believe that creators should have an opportunity to earn a living from their channels and we are proud that many do. For almost a decade, we’ve shared advertising revenue with our creators based on the success of their videos and that revenue has created a vibrant new economy, where anyone with a camera or a phone can turn their creativity into a career.

But there’s a difference between the free expression that lives on YouTube and the content that brands have told us they want to advertise against. Our advertiser-friendly content policies set the tone for which videos can earn revenue, ensuring that ads only appear where they should. To make sure we apply this process fairly, we also give creators the chance to appeal if they feel any of their videos have been unfairly demonetized. We take these steps because advertiser confidence is critical to the financial success of our creators.

After listening to strong feedback from our advertisers, today we announced a number of actions and we want to explain what these changes might mean for you, our YouTube creators:

  • Tougher stance on hate speech: Both creators and advertisers are concerned about hate speech and so are we. To protect the livelihoods of our creators and to strengthen advertiser confidence, we will be implementing broader demonetization policies around videos that are perceived to be hateful or inflammatory. This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is harassing or attacking people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories.
  • Strengthening advertiser controls for video and display ads: In the coming weeks, we will add new advertiser controls that make it easier for brands to exclude higher risk content and fine-tune where they want their ads to appear.
  • Accelerating appeals: Today, any creator whose video is demonetized can launch an appeal to have their video reviewed. Moving forward, we plan to improve the process so that reviews can happen even faster.
  • Safeguarding creators in our YouTube Partner Program: Since we rolled out the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) ten years ago, it has enabled millions of creators to earn revenue and build a new generation of emerging media businesses. We want to protect our creators so we will be introducing new YPP safeguards to prevent abuse that hurts their earnings, like the impersonation of their channels.
  • Restating our commitment to diversity: Groups that have long been underrepresented in traditional media have used YouTube to reach new audiences, increasing empathy and tolerance while providing a lifeline of support to diverse communities. We stand by our diverse creators and communities and their right to express themselves. Recently, we’ve heard concerns that some LGBTQ content may be restricted from the small subset of users who have optionally chosen to enable YouTube’s Restricted Mode. Earlier today we posted a blog that further explains how this feature works and we’re committed to ensuring our systems don’t discriminate.

We want YouTube to remain a place where creators can express themselves while earning revenue, where fans can discover new voices, and where advertisers have a place to reach engaged audiences. To keep that incredible dynamic going, advertisers have to feel confident their ads are only appearing where they should. Although ad restrictions can feel limiting, they’re essential to protecting the livelihood of creators. While YouTube will always be home to videos that meet our community guidelines, today’s measures will help ensure the virtuous cycle between creators, fans and advertisers remains strong for years to come.