YouTube toughens rules regarding which videos get ads

YouTube toughens rules regarding which videos get ads. (screenshot)
Updated 17 January 2018
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YouTube toughens rules regarding which videos get ads

SAN FRANCISCO: YouTube on Tuesday announced ramped-up rules regarding when it will run ads with videos as it scrambled to quell concerns by brands about being paired with troublesome content.
“There’s no denying 2017 was a difficult year, with several issues affecting our community and our advertising partners,” YouTube vice president of display, video and analytics Paul Muret said in a blog post.
“The challenges we faced in 2017 have helped us make tough but necessary changes in 2018.”
Channels at YouTube will need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past year to be eligible for ads, according to Muret.
Previously, channels could be eligible for ads as part of a YouTube Partner Program by racking up 10,000 views or more.
“We want to take channel size, audience engagement, and creator behavior into consideration to determine eligibility for ads,” Muret said.
YouTube will closely watch for spam, abuse flags and other signals to make sure channels are remaining within the Google-owned video-sharing platforms policies regarding content, according to the post.
Muret said that manual reviews of video will be added to a Google Preferred system that brands use to place ads with popular YouTube content to better vet videos.
YouTube is also providing advertisers simpler controls regarding where ads appear and transparency including safety checks by outside parties, according to Muret.
The changes were expected to affect “a significant number” of YouTube channels eligible to run ads.
YouTube late last year pulled 150,000 videos of children after lewd comments about them were posted by viewers and went public with a vow to greatly increase the ranks of workers focused on rooting out content violating its policies.
The moves came as YouTube strived to assure companies their ads would not appear with offensive or inappropriate videos.
“We are passionate about protecting our users, advertisers and creators and making sure YouTube is not a place that can be co-opted by bad actors,” Muret said.
“While we took several steps last year to protect advertisers from inappropriate content, we know we need to do more to ensure that their ads run alongside content that reflects their values.”


Mystery of Saudi journalist’s missing tweets

Updated 16 October 2018
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Mystery of Saudi journalist’s missing tweets

RIYADH: Unusual activity has been observed on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s Twitter account since his disappearance on Oct. 2 — with a total of 163 old tweets having been deleted.
This has raised questions about the identity of the person managing Khashoggi’s Twitter account — and whether it is his alleged fiancée Hatice (Khadija) Cengiz. It was reported that all of Khashoggi’s cellphones are in her possession; yet Khashoggi’s ex-wife, Alaa Nassif, has said neither she nor Khashoggi’s family had any knowledge of Khadija.
On the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, he had not followed anyone new and the number of the accounts he followed was 778, according to the analytics tool SocialBlade.

After US commandos killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011, Khashoggie tweeted about how he had “collapsed crying.” He wrote on Twitter: “I collapsed crying a while ago, heartbroken for you Abu Abdullah (Bin Laden’s nickname). You were beautiful and brave in those beautiful days in Afghanistan, before you surrendered to hatred and passion.”
After US commandos killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011, Khashoggi tweeted about how he had “collapsed crying.” He wrote on Twitter: “I collapsed crying a while ago, heartbroken for you Abu Abdullah (Bin Laden’s nickname). You were beautiful and brave in those beautiful days in Afghanistan, before you surrendered to hatred and passion.”


That day, an additional 20 tweets were posted on Khashoggi’s account. Yet between Oct. 3 and Oct. 15, a total of 163 tweets were deleted — including 90 tweets on Oct. 4 alone. The number of accounts followed by Khashoggi also dropped by five during the same period — although it is not clear whether these accounts were deliberately unfollowed.

Rogue killers: Read US President Donald Trump’s latest comments on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

A Saudi Twitter user named Trad Al-Asmari has also monitored Khashoggi’s account and posted the findings online.
Questions have been raised over the kind of tweets being deleted from Khashoggi’s account, given the controversial nature of some of his posts, in which he had expressed views that could have been deemed sympathetic to Al-Qaeda and Daesh.

In another tweet, Khashoggi apparently aimed to justify Daesh’s tactic of beheading people.


Lebanese political activist Nidal Sabeh said in a tweet about the activity on Khashoggi’s account:
“The person managing the Twitter account of Jamal Khashoggi has removed me from his friends list. His account has been recently very active, deleting several tweets and unfollowing accounts Jamal used to follow. I have no idea what could be the purpose of this act, but it certainly is noticeable.”