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Last Week Online #11 – Double trouble for Youtube

Anna Loverus
Anna Loverus
3 min read

YouTube in double trouble, and two fresh reports about CMOs role in digitalisation.

Part 1: YouTube enables sexualised exploitation of children

This week's most considerable controversy is the sexualised exploitation of children on YouTube. It started with a Reddit post and a YouTube video, revealing how a search for something like “bikini haul,” a sub-genre of video content where women show bikinis they’ve purchased, can lead to disturbing and exploitative videos of children. The videos aren’t pornographic, but the comment sections are full of people time stamping specific scenes that sexualise the child or children in the video. Comments about how beautiful young girls are also littering the comment section.

The finding has set off a wave of advertiser boycotts, among them IKEA and Nestle, and heightened tensions among the site's biggest channels. YouTube currently has just under a billion monthly users and is the world's second-largest search engine, just behind Google. It's about a year since YouTube's last large-scale scandal involving child exploitation on its site, and the platform promised then to address the problem.

Following this new scandal, YouTube has, once again, put the responsibility on YouTubers – instead of hiring more moderators and building better tools to flag abuse. The company now expects creators, not only to keep a hectic production schedule required to remain in algorithmic favour but also to act as their community moderators.

Part 2: YouTube gets pressured by advertisers to demonetise anti-vax content

While Facebook vows to stop recommending anti-vaccination content to users after pressure from lawmakers in the midst of a national measles outbreak in the US, YouTube is still promoting videos like “You’ll Be Glad You Watched This Before Vaccinating Your Child!”.

On Friday, YouTube said it would stop running ads on channels that promote anti-vax content from running advertising, stating that such videos fall under its policy prohibiting the monetisation of videos with “dangerous and harmful” content. The response from YouTube comes after advertisers pulled their ads from these videos, after inquiries from the media.

While the top search results for queries like “are vaccines safe” usually are from authorised sources – such as a children’s hospital, YouTubes Up Next algorithm frequently recommends anti-vaccination videos.

CMOs need to take a more active role in digital transformation

A new report from Forrester (Forrester clients only) shows that CMOs are missing in the digital transformation process and few are actively leading or being deeply involved in the digitalisation of their organisations. Instead, CIOs, COOs, and CDOs are doing the work, but they don't represent the voice of the customer. CMOs should play a key role in shaping the brand vision and incorporating tech-enabled brand promises into corporate strategy and make sure digital transformation delivers a better customer experience.

Another new report, Altimeter’s "The State of Digital Transformation” (free, if you register) points out that CIOs own or sponsor digital transformation initiatives for 28% of the respondents in its study, while CEOs serve that leadership role for 23%. Only 3% of CMOs own digital transformation in North America in 2018, according to the report.

One data point that supports the need for CMOs in the digital transformation is that 41% of companies are making their investments without thorough customer research.

Instagram is planning to become Pinstagram

Rumours are starting to spread about Instagram planning to attack Pinterest the same way it did to Snapchat – just as Pinterest files to go public. Code buried in the Instagram app for Android shows how Instagram has prototyped an option to create public “Collections” to which users can contribute collaboratively. Instagram users can already collect images in private Collections; a featured launched two years ago. These collectors let users save and organise their favourite posts. The new feature would allow users to make these Collections public, something that would make Instagram a stronger competitor to Pinterest.

The new feature could not only give users the possibility of curating others posts to express their identity through the things you love but also cut down "content stealing" by providing an alternative to screenshotting and reposting other people’s content. Naturally, this new feature could be troublesome for Pinterest’s upcoming $12 billion IPO.

Tool of the week: LeadFeeder

LeadFeeder connects to your Google Analytics and decodes the IP-addresses from your website visitors and displays the companies they belong to. This information is helpful to most B2B site owners since you can see if the people visiting your site are potential clients. It might sound simple, but it can be beneficial for anyone who is on the hunt for new leads.

You don't need to install anything on your site; it connects with your Google Analytics account, and you can connect it to MailChimp and find out if people following your newsletters are visiting your site.

With their paid version, you can see the time someone spends on your site, who the person is (when that's possible for instance if they've signed up for a demo or to a newsletter), and you can feed the leads into your CRM.

Last Week Online

Anna Loverus Twitter

Thinker and doer. Loves running, wine, and human behaviour.


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