Will the enhanced scrutiny on YouTube wary its advertisers?

During the past few months, YouTube has faced a lot of scrutiny over child exploitation, spreading of dangerous conspiracy theories and the companies policies regarding the LGBTQ community.

However, the company has been quite conservative when it comes to their ‘plan of action’ for these controversies. In fact, an analyst recently told Business Insider that the company’s incentive to act with drastic change is low.

The video hosting platform did claim to take down the white – supremacist videos but hate speech and content have long been supported by the world's largest video search engine. YouTube has also declined to take effective measures to handle a conservative YouTuber who used racial and homophobic phrases for a Vox journalist.

Surprisingly, the advertisers of YouTube are quiet in this matter – despite the backlash faced by the Google-owned platform. In fact, they continue to put their ads on YouTube – giving the network no reason to make changes.

Previously, however, the company did make some changes due to the criticism by advertisers. In 2017, hundreds of brands pulled their advertising from the channel after The Times reported that their ads were appearing next to the extremist videos. The mass boycott cost Google – YouTube’s parent company a loss of $750 million after which the company made changes and gave advertisers more control over the content that their ads appeared next to.

The company also revamped its Partner Program to give more control over who and what can be monetized on their platform.

The same incident happened in February when a YouTuber exposed a ‘soft-core pedophile ring’ on the platform. This resulted in several brands like Disney and Nestle to remove their ads from the channel. After this, the company disabled comments on most videos featuring kids.

And although, YouTube has improved its policies, it is expected that in the future we could see advertisers shift from the platform.

Is YouTube losing its advertisers after it fails to manage its policies against child exploitation.
Photo: Future Publishing via Getty Images

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