Sunday, March 3, 2019

YouTube Should Make Channel Owners Moderate All Comments To Serve Ads

Controversy is brewing again between YouTube and major advertisers. In case you haven't heard, YouTube has recently disabled comments on videos with minors due to predatory behavior. That was after major brand advertisers, such as Disney and Nestle, pulled their ad budgets. That tends to get YouTube to act.

And YouTube says they've fast tracked a new tool to identify inappropriate comments automatically.

I don't think this is solved by technology alone.

If a person or company wants to have a YouTube channel, it implies they want to connect with users. And with that should come a serious level of responsibility to monitor what happens on your channel and one can't expect technology to do it for you.

I also feel like the broader user community can't be expected to flag issues for YouTube. That could help be part of a larger solution.

YouTube can't put the burden on advertisers either to flag inappropriate comments because that's not an advertiser's core competency. Advertisers just want to make a media buy and trust their ad will be shown in a brand-safe environment.

Instead, what if YouTube put the responsibility on YouTube channel owners who wish to monetize their channel to actively moderate their comments? If you choose to sign up with YouTube to make your channel eligible for showing ads, YouTube should set all comments to require moderation by the channel owner and not post comments automatically. This would force the channel owner to ensure a brand safe environment. Otherwise, YouTube should not allow a channel to run ads. This has the benefit of aligning incentives for all parties because both Google and the channel owner want to make money from advertisers and advertisers want to invest in online video advertising.

Some owners of popular YouTube channels may balk at this idea, saying they get too many comments or views to moderate them all. If that's true, they must be making lots of money from ads! So guess what? You have to invest some of that money on moderators or community managers to continue to make money and maintain your brand-safe advertising environment!

As they say, it takes money to make money...


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