A good number of YouTubers who spend hours creating content on the popular video-sharing website are now up in arms protesting YouTube’s enforcement of its “not advertiser-friendly” guidelines. The platform is now starting to withhold paychecks for videos that are marked as inappropriate for advertising.
And for those who operate one or a series of YouTube channels as virtual businesses, this could be a particularly bitter blow — assuming some of their videos have fallen under the enforcement.
Over the past few days some users have been posting notices from Google, saying that certain videos were considered inappropriate and thus were not able to make money using the platforms ad services YouTubers are complaining that the flagging of this content amounts to censorship. Some, like YouTube personality Chris Ray Gun (above), have begun actively breaking the content rules in protest. But YouTube maintains that the real issue isn’t the enforcement of their policies but content creators who insist on having inappropriate content on the platform.
In most cases, the amount of money generated from video ads might look inconsequential, but for popular YouTubers, the amount of money they generate on the platform amounts to a significant income.
YouTube Demonetized These Types of Content
According to YouTube, content that’s considered inappropriate includes, but is not limited to:
- Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor,
- Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism,
- Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity and vulgar language,
- Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items,
- Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown.
It’s essential to note that YouTube offers a caveat to the inappropriate content rules, even suggesting that some inappropriate content may still be eligible for monetization. “Advertiser-friendly content is content that’s appropriate for all audiences. It has little to no inappropriate or mature content in the video stream, thumbnail, or metadata (such as in the video title). If the video does contain inappropriate content, the context is usually newsworthy or comedic and the creator’s intent is to inform or entertain (not offend or shock),” the company explained in a post.
The company also goes ahead to say that you can request a manual review “if you believe that your video is eligible for monetization. Click on the yellow dollar sign and follow the on-screen instructions to submit it for review.”
While YouTube doesn’t appear to have anticipated the backlash from its users, the enforcement of its policies is arguably doing exactly what it was supposed to: bringing to light an ill-understood and ill-implemented policy, with hopes of making it better.
Image: Chris Ray Gun/YouTube