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YouTube CEO speaks out about growing brand safety concerns

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has spoken out about growing brand safety concerns, claiming the video sharing site will be implementing “stricter criteria” and strengthening its review teams to ensure “bad actors” don’t receive a share of the advertising dollar.

In a blog post published on the Google website, Wojcicki explained how the video sharing service is planning on “ramping up our team of ad reviewers to ensure ads are only running where they should.”

“I’ve seen how some bad actors are exploiting our openness to mislead, manipulate, harass or even harm,” she wrote.

“Our goal is to stay one step ahead of bad actors, making it harder for policy-violating content to surface or remain on YouTube.”

Wojcicki described how since June, YouTube’s trust and safety teams have reviewed “nearly 2 million videos for violent extremist content”. These human reviews are in turns used to train “machine-learning technology”.

According to the post, the changes should also help creators see a more stable revenue stream, and stop advertising spend suddenly being pulled from specific videos without warning.

“It’s important we get this right for both advertisers and creators,” wrote Wojcicki. “Over the next few weeks, we’ll be speaking with both to hone this approach.”

The post comes following months of concerns around YouTube’s programmatic advertising, which led to the offering of small refunds to customers in the US and the UK.

Back in March, Kia and Holden pulled their YouTube advertising spend amid fears their ads were running next to offensive content.

The stakes for YouTube are high with brands warning the placement of their ads is a serious concern.

Speaking at June’s Mumbrella360 conference earlier this year, Westpac’s Toby Dewar told the audience that when faced with the choice between viewability and brand safety, he would pick brand safety “every time.”

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