Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda is the Public Policy and Government Relations Manager, Africa at Google, including YouTube. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - 11 February 2020 is Safer Internet Day, and online safety is once again in the spotlight. 

Like many corporate citizens, we are passionate about protecting our users, advertisers and creators and making sure YouTube is not a place that can be co-opted by bad actors.  

Protecting businesses

We have taken several steps and developed a number of tools to protect businesses from inappropriate content and to ensure that ads run alongside content that reflects their values. We are addressing this issue from three different angles: content, setting a higher bar and offering better tools. 

We’ve created a more rigorous approach to address controversial content on YouTube in part by bringing the number of people working across Google to address violative content to roughly 10000. We’ve also updated our advertiser-friendly content guidelines, to help creators make more informed content decisions. 

We established stricter criteria for monetisation on YouTube. Previously, channels had to reach 10000 total views to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Now channels need to have 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months to be eligible for monetisation including ads. We’ve completed a human review of YPP at the channel level. We’ve also completed a human review of Google Preferred—at the video level—in every market where it’s available. Every Google Preferred video has been verified to meet our advertiser-friendly guidelines.

We worked closely with our advertising partners on simpler suitability controls that make it easier for advertisers to select content that is suitable for their brand, while understanding potential reach trade offs.  We’re also focused on offering advertisers transparency regarding where their ads run.

Online tools are a means to reduce the risk of harm in an affordable and easy to use way, freeing all of us up to use the online world to learn, play and grow together - safely. 

Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda is the Public Policy and Government Relations Manager, Africa at Google, including YouTube.