What does winning the first-ever MRC Content-Level Brand Safety Accreditation mean for YouTube and YouTubers?

YouTube MRC
YouTube MRC Accreditation and what it means for YouTubers and Advertisers. Pic credit: Creative Commons CC0

YouTube has confirmed that it is the first-ever digital multimedia streaming platform to receive accreditation for content-level brand safety from the Media Rating Council (MRC). This is undoubtedly a very important milestone for the video streaming platform.

YouTube is now the first digital platform to receive such accreditation from the MRC. This basically means the platform can effectively shield its advertisers from content deemed inappropriate.

YouTube promises 99 percent efficiency at making sure ad placements on YouTube are brand-safe:

In an official blogpost, YouTube assured it was committed to remaining at least 99 percent effective at making sure ad placements on YouTube are brand-safe. This clearly means the crowd-sourced video streaming takes not only its advertisers but also the content that arrives on it, very seriously.

Needless to add, this accreditation is a huge milestone for YouTube. The platform has had major brands pull back their advertising owing to inappropriate content. In fact, YouTube has had multiple high-profile incidents dating back to 2017. The majority involved ads appearing on videos with hate speech or other disturbing content.

Even as recent as 2019, Nestle and other major companies pulled their ads. Their pullout followed several complaints from a video blogger who raised concerns about pedophiles.

The vlogger, also known as YouTuber, claimed several suspicious video creators were using YouTube to trade information and spotlight videos of young girls. The controversy led several major advertisers to turn off their YouTube ads.

The US Congress formed the MRC back in the 1960s. The primary agenda of MRC was to measure audiences on media content.

The MRC reportedly confirmed that it conducted an extensive audit of YouTube. The auditing committee reviewed YouTube’s internal standards.

Basically, the MRC scrutinized how YouTube’s own internal standards were deployed for determining which videos are suitable to receive advertising. It was a comparative study, and it involved comparing YouTube’s methods to the industry-body standards.

The MRC awarded the accreditation when YouTube met various standards. These included confirming the incident rate for ads appearing on inappropriate videos was “immaterial”. As mentioned above, less than 1 percent of ads appeared on inappropriate videos.

What does the MRC Accreditation mean for YouTube and YouTubers?

Speaking about the accreditation, George Ivie, chief executive of the MRC said: “YouTube is the first service we’ve accredited against MRC’s Enhanced Content Level Context and Brand Safety Guidelines.”

“When we issued those guidelines in 2018, we recognized we had set a high bar for brand safety protection, and YouTube has now met that bar thanks to its years of dedication to brand safety and to the MRC audit process. This ongoing commitment presents a much-needed path for other digital platforms and the rest of the industry to follow.”

YouTube & Video Global Solutions Vice President Debbie Weinstein said: “We received the accreditation following an extensive audit that reviewed the policies that determine which videos can be on YouTube and which are eligible to monetize with advertising, the technology that analyzes the videos uploaded to the platform, and our team of human raters that augment our technology’s automated classifications.”

“We are committed to remaining at least 99% effective at ensuring brand safety of advertising placements on YouTube, in accordance with industry definitions,” she added.

YouTube has multiple mechanisms to ensure inappropriate content is tagged, flagged, and reported. The MRC accreditation will actually help not just advertisers but also YouTubers.

It will serve as a strong assurance about YouTube’s commitment to protecting advertisers from being associated with bad content. Meanwhile, YouTubers relying on hate speech and other inciteful or inappropriate content will have a very difficult time peddling their content for money.

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