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YouTube CEO Open Letter to Content Creators

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki shared a letter to content creators about the company's role in reducing offensive content and reflects on the importance of having an open platform for content creation and dissemination that enables free education of millions of content. people in varied areas.

Ol content creators and artists.

As I do every quarter, I want to reflect on my priorities and how to help you succeed on YouTube. But more than just doing our traditional quarter highs and lows, I want to take the opportunity to talk about something that matters to me and the future of YouTube: how to have an open platform and balance it with our responsibility to protect the community. .

YouTube was created under the premise of being an open platform. Based on that, content creators like you are contributing to a thriving creative economy. But with this openness comes the challenges, which is why we also have our game rules and they are updated frequently. The speech discourse policy and the harassment policy, which will be released soon, are our latest updates. In a place created for many different voices, some of them may push the boundaries. Malicious people will try to exploit platforms for their own benefit, even with our investment in systems to stop them. The more problems arise, the more authorities, the press and experts question whether an open platform is useful or even viable.

Even so, I believe maintaining an open platform is more important than ever.

First, this openness creates opportunities. Today's content creators are the latest in media. They would not have had a chance to fit into a more restricted media landscape. Creators such as robotics Simone Giertz and blind lifestyle vlogger Molly Burke, both with unusual appeal and ignored by traditional media, are having huge success on YouTube managing businesses, selling products, generating jobs for others and creating real economic value in the communities themselves. Or content creators like Laura Vitale, Sallys Welt, and Helen's Recipes, who turned their own passion for cooking into full-time work, with hit channels, cookbooks, and more. And they are not the only ones. According to a Ryerson University study, YouTube content creators generated 28,000 full-time jobs in Canada alone. In addition, 20% of qualified Canadian breeders are generating jobs for others. Worldwide, thousands of channels are earning more than $ 100,000 a year, a figure that continues to rise 40% year over year.

Second, openness encourages support in the community. On such a platform, a common experience can bring people together in surprising ways. For example, New Zealander Ryleigh Hawkins created the Tourettes Teen channel to raise awareness of how to live with Tourette's syndrome. Informative, cheerful and humorous videos have won fans around the world and allowed others in this condition, which can lead to isolation, to know that they are not alone. Teenagers are sharing videos showing that they were not accepted at university (in English). This is a reminder that this painful moment can happen to everyone and that it is possible to turn around.

And lastly, openness leads to learning. As a college professor's daughter and lifelong student, seeing Edutubers as Origin of Everything, Handbook of the World, and Eddie Woo make YouTube the world's largest classroom has deeply inspired me. Whenever I meet someone new and ask about YouTube, I hear a story about something learned on the site: how YouTube helped a student do well on math, a mother repairing the garage door, or an employee learning a new skill professional.

I want to make it clear that none of this would happen without opening. Otherwise, someone else would decide who can share their own story, and the voices heard on the platform would be similar to those already featured. That microenterprise that came about because someone shares their own passion for soap making would never take off. The bullying teenager would not find a community with people like him and showing that everything will be all right. And that curious and fantastic astrophysical person who is looking for some videos on the subject would probably find nothing.

Commitment to openness is not easy. Sometimes it means keeping content unusual, controversial or even offensive. But I believe that having a wide range of perspectives makes us a stronger and more informed society, even if we completely disagree with some of these views. Much of our work in protecting this transparency is not just in the guidelines that provide diversity of expression, but in the actions we are taking to ensure a responsible community. I have often said this year that this is my number one priority. A responsible approach to managing what's on the platform protects our users and content creators just like you. It also means that we can continue to promote all the good things that come from an open platform.

The problematic content represents less than one percent of YouTube content. But this very small amount has an extremely large impact, both on the potential damage to our users and the loss of confidence in the open model that allowed this creative community to emerge. There is a theory that we hesitate to take action on the problematic content because it would give us business benefits. This is completely false. In fact, in the long run, the cost of failing to take the necessary steps is to lose the trust of users, advertisers, and you, our content creators. We want to earn that trust.

That's why in recent years we have invested significantly in the teams and systems that protect YouTube. Our approach to accountability involves four ?Rs?:

  • WE REMOVE content that violates our policies as quickly as possible. And we're always looking to make our policies clearer and more effective, such as pranks and challenges, child safety and hate speech this year. I'm glad you let us know when our policies are not working for the creative community. We have received clear feedback that harassment among creators is a point that needs attention. I said in my previous letter that we looked into the matter. We will have news in the coming months.
  • We RECOMMEND reliable voices when people seek news and information, especially when it comes to the latest news.
  • We REDUCE the spread of content that is at the limit of compliance with our policies. In the US, where we have already made changes (in English) to the recommendations earlier this year, we have seen a 50% drop in views originating from the recommendations for these videos. This means that quality content is more likely to gain prominence. We have also begun testing this change in the UK, Ireland, South Africa and other English language markets.
  • Finally, we set stricter criteria for channels that can monetize the site, REWARDING qualified and trusted creators. Not every content allowed on YouTube matches what advertisers consider appropriate for the brand. However, we need to make sure that they stay calm with the place of display of the advertisements. That's also why we're enabling new sources of revenue for creators, like Super Chat and Channel Clubs. Thousands of channels now earn more than double their total YouTube revenue using these new tools, in addition to advertising.

The stories content creators like you tell inspire me every day. The community you have created living proof that an Internet that holds different ideas can change the world for the better. You have created something amazing. It is our job to strike the right balance between openness and accountability so that future generations of content creators and users ensure the future of the platform.

Susan Wojcicki