YouTube has a tricky job of making sure ads don’t show up alongside videos promoting extremist, hateful views or violence, yet also making sure it doesn’t strip creators, who may post things like violent video game scenes, of their revenue-earning potential. In an attempt to get better at that, YouTube is experimenting with ways to match “edgy” videos with advertisers who are okay with content that’s not totally PG.
In a letter to YouTube creators, CEO Susan Wojcicki said YouTube is looking for advertisers who might advertise next to content with the yellow icon, which means a video is “not suitable for all advertisers.” This might appeal, for instance, to a marketer that wants to promote a R-rated movie. According to Wojcicki, “in its first month, this program resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in ads on yellow icon videos.”
The change could be especially beneficial for gaming creators, whose videos are often labeled yellow because they show violence in a game. Wojcicki acknowledges the call for policies that differentiated between real-world and gaming violence and says YouTube is working on a policy that will have fewer restrictions for violence in gaming.