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YouTube Struggles to Comply with Labeling Sponsored Videos

Lately, YouTube is striving to keep its promise to detect and label uploaded sponsored YouTube videos.

A recent investigation from ProPublica discovered 57 government-funded YouTube channels. This are the ones that the platform had not labeled as such.

Meanwhile, 35 of the channels had instantly labeled for state sponsored. This happened when notifications pertaining to YouTube took place.

The channels contained Russian-funded news and talk show episodes in which hosts restrained the scope of Russian interference way back in the 2016 US presidential election.

YouTube also allegedly failed to label a US-funded channel that displays Russian-language videos condemning the Russian government.

The streaming platform initially pledged to label videos from state-funded media outlets in 2018. The promise was amid fears that governments were using the site to circulate misrepresentation.

Similarly, Facebook has guaranteed to label state-funded media pages and ads.

In a statement on a well-known newspaper, a YouTube representative publicized the company’s ongoing efforts to label videos.

Moreover, many state-sponsored videos did not have labels due to the channels’ lack of maintenance by “news publishers.”

The spokesperson added, “We heavily invest in improving the news experience and ensuring people receive information from authoritative sources on YouTube.”

“Since launching this feature in February 2018, we’ve identified and labeled hundreds of these channels.”

YouTube’s battle to adhere its own promise on labeling state-sponsored videos has well-documented in the current years.

Meanwhile, ProPublica’s story develops on the previous reporting by the Committee to Protect Journalists and News reports.

Moreover, both recognized dozens of state-backed channels that YouTube declined to label.

YouTube Works on Mature Advertising Content

Youtube, YouTube Struggles to Comply with Labeling Sponsored VideosElsewhere, YouTube is testing with placing advertisements for more grown-up audiences on edgier YouTube videos to address demonetization troubles.

These are videos that might be more aggressive in nature, such as stunts, challenges, or simulated action. They did not have advertisements run on them over the last couple of years.

In that case, they also go for videos that cover sensitive topics.

In a news report, commentator Philip DeFranco stated that his videos are not friendly for advertisers. This is despite white-listed channels like CNN and MSNBC running ads on their videos, discussing the same subjects.

Now, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, writes a letter to creators that her squad is working to seek which advertisers might be concerned in having their ads run in front of these types of videos.

Wojcicki wrote, “We’re working to identify advertisers who are interested in edgier content, like a marketer looking to promote an R-rated movie, so we can match them with creators whose content fits their ads.”

He also added, “In its first month, this program resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in ads on yellow icon videos.”

Meanwhile, running ads for R-rated movies on channels like RackaRacka, where two brothers often generate sketches based on Mortal Kombat finishing moves or DragonBall Z fights, may be a notable change for creators. This is for the ones who want to deliver more adult-oriented content.

However, these videos face other concerns, such as recommendation problems that Wojcicki’s letter does not address.

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