YouTube Responds to #WTFU, Claims it Will “Strengthen Communication with Creators”

YouTube has responded to the criticisms of its copyright policies, with the video sharing site insisting that it will improve its communication with creators following many high-profile false copyright claims.

#WTFU, an online campaign set up by Channel Awesome founder Doug Walker, asked “Where’s The Fair Use?” amid a wave of controversy regarding copyright takedowns of videos and channels that were legally covered by the Fair Use Act. YouTube’s pandering to corporations dealing out these copyright claims and complete disregard for the rights of their creators saw them being faced with a massive negative backlash, with Walker’s campaign quickly generating momentum as other well-established YouTubers jumped on board.

Now YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has spoken out about the campaign, thanking the YouTube community for its feedback, adding “we’re listening.” 

Wojcicki posted a link to a statement from YouTube Policy team member Spencer, which you can read below:

“I’ve been a member of the YouTube Policy team since 2008 and throughout that time, I’ve seen how your input has helped YouTube get better. For example, when I started on YouTube Policy, we didn’t have an appeals process for video removals. Through user feedback, we realized that we needed to establish a channel for users to alert us to our mistakes. We eventually launched an appeals form for age-restrictions, and just recently launched an appeals form for videos rejected due to policy violations. YouTube isn’t perfect, but thanks to your feedback, we are able to learn quickly and get better.

Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion about the enforcement of our policies, from video takedowns to channel demonetization. We want you to know that we monitor video takedowns very closely, and while we haven’t seen a big change in the overall rate of removals, it’s true that we do make mistakes. For this, we’re sorry and we strive to do better by you, our community.

The good news is that the feedback you’ve raised in comments and videos on YouTube and beyond is having an impact. It’s caused us to look closely at our policies and helped us identify areas where we can get better. It’s led us to create a team dedicated to minimizing mistakes and improving the quality of our actions. And it’s encouraged us to roll out some initiatives in the coming months that will help strengthen communications between creators and YouTube support. We’ll also make improvements to increase transparency into the status of monetization claims. And of course, as we work to implement these improvements as quickly as we can, we’ll continue to take your feedback seriously.”

It remains to be seen just how seriously YouTube is taking this campaign, and whether or not it will inspire a change in the way it deals with copyright claims. With YouTube essentially having a monopoly on video content right now, video creators aren’t left with many other options if they want to carve out a career outside of the site, but with #WTFU having gained a lot of traction it seems that those in charge are finally taking notice.