Every quarter, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki writes a letter to creators on the platform and, every quarter, that letter contains more bad news.
In this quarter's letter – released today – Wojcicki has announced a number of changes to YouTube's policies.
Creators are already frustrated and annoyed at YouTube for the upcoming FTC-mandated rules that YouTube settled with as part of a deal with the FTC, as those rules put the immense liability and pressure on creators and will result in more mass demonetizations across the platform.
And today, Wojcicki piled on more uncertainty about the future as the exec outlined that, once again, the squeaky wheel will be getting all the grease and YouTube plans to introduce a new “harassment” policy that will likely further restrict speech on the platform where creators are already in constant fear for what they say.
In the latter, Wojcicki said the company was well underway creating the new harassment policy and was talking to creators about what they feel needs to be fixed.
She did not give an ETA for the rollout of the changes but said that creators will be made aware when the new changes are in place.
In somewhat better news, Wojcicki said that there will be new changes in relation to gaming on YouTube. Gaming creators have been worried that violence in video games would be considered as being equal to real-world violence and the YouTube CEO said that it's going to be addressed.
“We’ve heard loud and clear that our policies need to differentiate between real-world violence and gaming violence,” Wojcicki said. “We have a policy update coming soon that will do just that. The new policy will have fewer restrictions for violence in gaming, but maintain our high bar to protect audiences from real-world violence.”
Mature content creators
The best news from Wojcicki's letter is that YouTube is trying to woo advertisers that don't mind advertising against more mature and edgier types of content. Currently, YouTube simply demonetizes creators who push outside the boundaries of what is usually considered “brand-safe” on the platform. These new changes could help those creators who can't or won't always censor their content to appeal to YouTube's algorithm.
In today’s letter, Wojcicki acknowledged the problem with YouTube's proposed COPPA changes but hasn't actually added anything concretely helpful – just saying that more info will follow.
“We know there are still many questions about how this is going to affect creators and we’ll provide updates as possible along the way,” Wojcicki said.