How YouTube Sets It Policies? Matt Halprin Discloses the Process of His Team

The global head of trust and safety for YouTube, Matt Halprin perform one of the toughest jobs, heading the team that determines the policies for YouTube, what to allow and what not to allow.

Recently, the video platform faced much criticism for allowing video content that for many was offensive and also failed to completely protect kids online. Halprin is responsible for creating policies for the platform to keep the site safe for all. He has to balance between keeping the site safe as well as to allow freedom of speech.

In a recent interview with a media house, Halprin talked about how he along with his team set the rules.

When asked about how the team works, Halprin said his team is divided into two sections, policy development and policy incubation. YouTube is an “open platform”, where people are free to express themselves. Content that can actually ignite harm is deleted. According to him, the platform wants to represent various aspects even if many do not agree or offends them.

A few years ago, the company started to review its existing policies. The gray areas in policies, that regulate discuss or are highlighted in the press are all looked into by the team. Considering this, in Q2 2019, YouTube re-introduced its hate speech policy.


What is the press through which policies are made or existing are changed? First, the team does its research and forms a framework and prepare a proposal. Halprin goes through it and then other cross-functional partners, public policy people, public relations in product and legal are involved in it. After this, an executive review is done under the supervision of the chief product officer. At last, the top executives are informed about it. Such meetings are done on a weekly basis.

When Halprin was asked about how he managed to balance safety and freedom of speech, he said it is one of the toughest things they do. At times there are disagreements among the team about certain issues and people come up with their reasons. Therefore, the team realizes they cannot make everyone happy. When a policy is formed some might be happy with it while others will have issues and concerns. Halprin is of the view that if at least one side is not satisfied with the new policy changes, then there must be something wrong about it.

He was also asked about how it is ensured that things are not missed out while enforcement. Halprin disclosed that there are community guidelines that set rules for all. Everything is measured to its accuracy. The reviews of reviewers abut workflow, policies, and others are evaluated by Halprin to measure their accuracy.

How YouTube Sets It Policies
Photo: Gregor Fischer / Picture alliance / Getty Images

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