Google is set to begin placing tighter review controls on videos published on YouTube channels included in the Google Preferred bundling of content for major brand advertisers. That’s according to Bloomberg Technology, citing anonymous sources familiar with the plans.
The latest triggers to alarm marketers about YouTube have been the controversial content posted by YouTube stars (such as Logan Paul, whose channel is no longer part of Google Preferred after he posted a video showing the body of a suicide victim) and highly objectionable videos featuring or aimed at children. This comes after a year of heightened brand safety concerns about advertising on the video platform after brand ads were found running on extremist and racist content.
According to the Bloomberg report, Google Preferred videos will be checked by human reviewers in addition to algorithmic review. In December, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said Google would be increasing the number of people reviewing content to as many as 10,000 across the organization in 2018. Part of the manual review effort is to help “train our machine-learning technology to identify similar videos in the future.”
Channels in the Preferred program are those most popular among the coveted demographic of US 18- to 34-year-olds. YouTube bills the collection as brand-safe content.
In addressing the need to step up efforts to protect advertisers and creators from inappropriate content, Wojcicki said changes were needed. “We believe this requires a new approach to advertising on YouTube, carefully considering which channels and videos are eligible for advertising. We are planning to apply stricter criteria, conduct more manual curation, while also significantly ramping up our team of ad reviewers to ensure ads are only running where they should,” said Wojcicki.