YouTube may soon have stronger punishments for creators who damage the platform’s reputation. CEO Susan Wojcicki outlined the company’s goals for 2018 in a blog post last night, the most notable of which is the promise of new policies intended to punish creators who do “something egregious that causes significant harm” to the community at large. “While these instances are rare, they can damage the reputation and revenue of your fellow creators, so we want to make sure we have policies in place that allow us to respond appropriately,” says Wojcicki.
As it stands, the scope of YouTube’s punishments for outspoken creators who violate its rules are murky at best. The company’s policy tightening comes just weeks after a scandal with vlogger Logan Paul, who posted a video showing the body of a man who had recently committed suicide. His actions sparked loud and swift backlash, including YouTube removing him from its Google Preferred ad program. YouTube also announced that it would tighten restrictions around which channels can be monetized, sparking panic among some smaller creators. (Demonetization continues to be a point of frustration for many creators, which the company also promises to address.)
Although Logan Paul’s actions have been a black eye on YouTube’s reputation, he’s hardly the first creator to post something controversial or questionable. Noting that there are some instances that require the platform to take a “clear, informed, and principled stance,” Wojcicki says YouTube will improve policy enforcement by bringing on more people and using machine learning tech to address content violations.
“We realize we have a serious social responsibility to get these emerging policy issues right, so we seek advice from dozens of expert advisors and third-parties,” Wojcicki says.