Op-ed: Dear YouTube family creator community

YouTube's global head of family and learning Malik Ducard has a message for kids and family content creators in light of recent changes to the platform--we hear you, and we are listening.
December 7, 2017

Dear YouTube family creator community,

We love what you do. We love your creativity, innovation and the inspiration that you provide to kids and families. Since YouTube launched over a decade ago, it has given voice to a new generation of creators. And since YouTube Kids launched almost three years ago, we’ve been so excited by the creativity of the enriching content you’ve created. Whether your videos enrich through science experiments, inspire through family vlogs, or entertain with storytelling, what you have built has driven joy and curiosity at scale.

In the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of reports about content masquerading as family-friendly on YouTube and concern among some family creators about changes on the platform, so I wanted to take some time to explain what we are working on and to let you know—we hear you and we are listening. While we can’t talk with everyone, we are actively engaged with creators, educators, family experts, trusted partners and flaggers, influencers and more to get this constantly evolving landscape right, and will continue to expand that effort.

Content masquerading as family-friendly on YouTube, a small amount of which has appeared in YouTube Kids, is an issue that we have been deeply focused on. Let me be clear in stating that content that deceives or harms families is absolutely unacceptable and to combat this content we needed to take significant action. We have clear policies against these videos and we enforce them aggressively. In the past week alone, we have terminated hundreds of accounts and over 150,000 videos that have violated these policies. Beyond that, we have removed ads from over two million videos and over 50,000 channels that masquerade as family-friendly to reduce the incentive to produce this content.

These actions are broad and sweeping because this is an area that is absolutely non-negotiable to us: We must stop the bad actors and the impact they have on the broader creator community. We’re trying hard not to make mistakes—but we know our systems aren’t perfect and we apologize for that. We know that some of you feel like you may be getting caught in the broader net of our actions, and have questions about what works and what doesn’t work on the platform. We know you need more clarity, and as soon as we can, we pledge to provide it.

For months we have been working on a comprehensive guide of best practices for creators in this space. We know sometimes the lines are blurred when it comes to the do’s and don’ts of creating family content, but we’re here to help and show you what type of content is eligible for consideration in the YouTube Kids app. This extensive guide will be available soon as a first step in what we hope will continue to be an ongoing dialogue about how to create content for YouTube Kids.

Almost three years ago, when we launched YouTube Kids, we used these exact words: “Family entertainment brings us all together, taking the experience, knowledge and creativity of one generation and turning it into the fuel that inspires another. You’re helping to educate the next generation of doctors, artists, explorers and scientists. Family entertainment, these stories, move us all forward.”

These words have never been truer, especially today.

As always, thank you for your feedback, patience and support over the coming months. Stay tuned and we’ll stay in touch. Thank you.

Malik Ducard
Global Head of Family and Learning

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