The massive backlash to Logan Paul’s Aokigahara forest video pushed YouTube to make a few changes in how it handles the content it hosts. The company took some specific actions against Paul himself, putting his original projects on hold and pulling his Preferred status, but it has also begun to tweak its policies and regulations overall. Now, in a blog post, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki says there are more changes to come. “We’re also currently developing policies that would lead to consequences if a creator does something egregious that causes significant harm to our community as a whole,” she wrote. “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.”
Already, YouTube has said it will begin to manually vet videos before they can be added to its top tier Preferred ad program. It has also changed its creator partnership requirements, with creators now having to accrue 4,000 hours of watchtime over the last 12 months and 1,000 subscribers before they can make money from their content. Additionally, Google is working to build up its content review team to 10,000 people. Along with new consequences for creators, Wojcicki said that throughout the year YouTube will focus on being more transparent, providing new ways for creators to make money, giving viewers more ways to engage with video content and investing in learning and education.
It’s good that YouTube is taking more responsibility over what is published on its platform, but while Logan Paul is the latest creator to step over the line, he’s certainly not the first. Let’s not forget Pewdiepie and the numerous awful things he’s said online. The point is, Paul isn’t a singular circumstance, there’s been a pattern building for years, and YouTube should’ve taken a more active role long before Paul was able to post that wildly disrespectful video. It will be interesting to see what sorts of consequences YouTube lays out for creators going forward.
“As YouTube grows, I want to remain focused on our mission to give everyone a voice and show them the world,” said Wojcicki. “It’s my commitment in 2018 to ensure we do this responsibly, with greater openness, smarter policies, more engaging products, more revenue for creators, and a higher emphasis on learning and education.”