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NEWS5 December 2017

YouTube CEO pledges greater transparency

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US – YouTube has announced plans to apply stricter criteria to its advertising and increase the number of people reviewing content as part of a crackdown on inappropriate content on the platform.

Chief executive Susan Wojcicki outlined an action plan the company will take to tackle issues around brand safety and inappropriate content in a blog post. “Our goal is to stay one step ahead of bad actors, making it harder for policy-violating content to surface or remain on YouTube,” she wrote.

Wojcicki promised “a new approach to advertising” on the platform, with greater consideration over which channels and videos are eligible for ads. This will involve "“stricter criteria" and "more manual curation", with a bigger team of ad reviewers "to ensure ads are only running where they should".

The company will produce a report to provide aggregate data on the flags it receives and the actions it takes to remove videos and comments in violation of its content policies.

Other plans include an increase in the number of people reviewing video content, and expanding the network of academics and industry groups to improve YouTube’s understanding of "emerging issues", according to the blog. The company has started training machine-learning technology to flag inappropriate content including child safety and hate speech.

YouTube has faced increasing concerns from advertisers over brand safety this year, most recently over inappropriate content featuring children, which prompted some brands to pull spend from the platform following an investigation by The Times newspaper.