YouTube Asks Creators To Be Honest About Questionable Work

Your YouTube channel is getting its share of advertising dollars. But maybe you want to spice things up a bit -- and run some content that may not be for everyone.

Inappropriate? Racy? Violent? Whatever.

But advertisers may not like it. So you'd like to give them some warning, because most of your other content is OK. Problem is, you won’t see any ad dollars for this. Long-term, you might curry some good vibes.

YouTube is now testing this premise, giving flexibility to its content creators — who may have issues that are not advertiser-friendly.

During a recent industry event, Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer of YouTube, said: "Creators themselves are the ones who know best what's in their content. They can tell us ahead of time, and we will use that in a way in which we trust the creators."



This comes after a number of high-profile reports of inappropriate content -- including extreme/radical political and child exploitation material -- which YouTube had to pull.

TV networks have faced issues of appropriate content for a long time -- producing some questionable stuff as it looks to create more compelling programming and story lines.

Since traditional TV networks typically know ahead of time about questionable content -- especially scripted programming -- they can relay that information to potential advertisers, as well as offering them screeners of specific episodes.

Now let’s go to the extreme of traditional TV programming -- at least in past years. Would you call HBO’s “The Sopranos” a TV show of questionable content? What if that show appeared on the YouTube platform -- in an area that is ad-supported? Is it ad-appropriate or not?

One might think “Sopranos” content is not on the same level as some of the more extreme content currently on any modern-day digital video platform.

And that's the point. Certainly, a good portion of the series has strong violent, sexual and language content. But how much, as a percentage of the total, would now be of concern for some mainstream advertisers?

YouTube is mulling such parameters.

Still, self-regulation is historically a bad idea. Bad actors are always looking to game the system -- especially in the digital, automated/self-serve space. YouTube has had its fair share of problems.

Which brings us back to the money. Will honest content producers inform YouTube that an upcoming episode isn’t good for advertisers -- and that they shouldn’t be paid for it?

Let’s talk about TV virtue.

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