YouTube Might Finally Be Getting Serious About Rule-Breaking Creators

2 February 2018, 12:14

Logan Paul
Logan Paul. Picture: GMA

By Josh Lee

After Logan Paul's 'Suicide Forest' scandal, it looks like YouTube is going to make some changes.

YouTube are working on new ways to punish creators who flout the rules, according to a new blog post by the platforms CEO Susan Wojcicki.

On February 1st, Susan shared her "Five Priorities for Creators in 2018." In it, she detailed five areas of focus for the upcoming year, including improving communication with creators, creating new ways for creators to earn money outside of AdSense, the introduction of new video formats, investing in educational videos and, perhaps most timely, dealing with rule-breaking creators.

"The nature of an open platform means we never know what trends or moments are going to arise next," wrote Susan. "But the same creativity and unpredictability that makes YouTube so rewarding—like the fact that a reggaeton song can become the most popular video in history—can also lead to unfortunate events where we need to take a clear, informed, and principled stance," she continued.

So how is YouTube going to make sure YouTubers who break the rules are punished?

Accepting that YouTube has a "serious social responsibility" to ensure viewers are protected from dangerous or obscene content, Susan revealed that the platform has worked with the Anti-Defamation League to tackle hate speech, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to help deal with "issues of self-harm."

"These third-parties have been essential in helping us refine our policies and we will continue to work with them throughout 2018," she wrote.

But in cases where a creator does something "egregious that causes significant harm to our community as a whole," Susan said the platform was "developing policies" that would "lead to consequences" and allow the platform the "respond appropriately."

Why is YouTube announcing these changes now?

The blog post comes just a few short weeks after YouTube was heavily criticised for their delayed response to Logan Paul's 'Suicide Forest' vlog controversy. While the platform did eventually hand down a number of punishments to Logan, creators called YouTube out for "doing nothing" in the immediate aftermath of the controversy.

Last month, YouTube announced that it would begin vetting videos in the their top-tier Preferred Ad Programme more closely in response to Logan's video.