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Google to plan vetting of YouTube premium content

Google is planning a new push to vet top-tier YouTube videos that it bundles for major advertisers, people familiar with the plan said.

The move is intended to address recent concern from marketers over offensive videos involving children and some popular YouTube stars, such as Logan Paul, a second round of scrutiny YouTube has faced over the past year, the people also said. They asked not to be identified talking about private company plans.

The new approach will be applied to videos that are part of Google Preferred, a set of popular YouTube channels Google sells to advertisers at a higher prices, these people said. Google told partners that it plans to use both human moderators — the company recently announced it will have 10,000 employees focused on the task — as well as artificial intelligence software to flag videos deemed inappropriate for ads. A spokeswoman for Alphabet Inc.’s Google declined to comment.

In recent months, YouTube has faced a groundswell of criticism and advertiser concern over videos aimed at children. Recent media reports showed that some of these channels post gruesome content. Several major advertisers pulled spending on YouTube in early 2017 after some ads were found on offensive videos, like those promoting racism and terrorism.

YouTube is also dealing with the aftermath of a crisis involving one of its more popular creators. Logan Paul, a prominent YouTube celebrity, last week posted a video of a dead body in Japan from an apparent suicide. On Wednesday, Google announced that it had removed Paul’s videos from Google Preferred.

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