A bunch of famous YouTubers are furious at YouTube right now - here's why
But maybe you've noticed that only some videos have these pre-roll advertisements.
YouTubers have to manually opt-in to monetizing their channels, meaning that ads will roll before their videos and they'll get a portion of the ad revenue generated from people like you and I as we sit helplessly waiting for the "Skip Ad" option to appear.
In most cases, the amount of money this generates is pretty inconsequential, but for YouTube's most popular content creators, the amount of money their channels generate can be a significant portion of their income.
Starting Thursday morning, many YouTubers were finding that they'd received emails notifying them that one or more of their videos violate its "advertiser-friendly content guidelines." According to YouTube's terms of service, videos are considered ineligible for monetization if they are not "advertiser-friendly," which includes content that has any of the following qualities:
- 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
View all Offers
- 27% OFF
Samsung Galaxy M12 (Blue,4GB RAM, 64GB Storage) 6000 mAh with 8nm Processor | True 48 MP Quad Camera | 90Hz Refresh Rate₹ 9499₹ 12999Buy On
- 31% OFF
Apple iPhone XR (64GB) - Black₹ 32999₹ 47900Buy On
- 11% OFF
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G (Phantom Black, 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage) with No Cost EMI/Additional Exchange Offers₹ 84999₹ 95999Buy On
- 16% OFF
Oppo A16 (Pearl Blue, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage) with No Cost EMI/Additional Exchange Offers₹ 13490₹ 16990Buy On
- 17% OFF
Redmi Note 10 Lite Aurora Blue 4GB RAM 128GB ROM | Alexa Built-in₹ 14999₹ 15999Buy On
It's crucial to note that YouTube offers a caveat to these rules, saying if a video contains inappropriate content, it may still be eligible for monetization if "the context is usually newsworthy or comedic and the creator's intent is to inform or entertain (not offend or shock)."
These guidelines have existed for a long time, but many YouTubers seem to be finding that more and more of their videos are being flagged for not meeting its guidelines. Or, rather, they're just talking about it more. As of Thursday afternoon, the hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty was trending in response to this controversy.
YouTube insists it isn't flagging more videos than usual. In a statement provided to Business Insider, a YouTube spokesperson said, "While our policy of demonetizing videos due to advertiser-friendly concerns hasn't changed, we've recently improved the notification and appeal process to ensure better communication to our creators."
One YouTuber, Philip DeFranco - who has over 4.5 million subscribers - called this de-monetization a "form of censorship" in his most recent video, hyperbolically titled, "YouTube Is Shutting Down My Channel and I'm Not Sure What To Do."
While YouTube is unequivocally not shutting down his channel, they did recently improve "the notification and appeal process to ensure better communication," according to the aforementioned statement provided to Business Insider, which is likely what's causing the increased conversation around the de-monetization of videos.
Of course, since YouTube is a private platform, it has the right to regulate its content in any way that it chooses, but perhaps there's room for improvement in terms of how advertisers target their ads. Rather than step in on behalf of advertisers and forbid all age-restricted content from being monetized (as is currently the case), perhaps YouTube could improve the tools advertisers have at their disposal so that they can control what types of videos in which their ads appear.
In a post on Medium, Freddie Wong - whose YouTube channel has over 7.75 million subscribers - explains why he thinks crying "censorship" is the wrong approach, and calls instead for a more nuanced conversation around advertisement.
"It's not just semantics ?- ?the flippant use of that word immediately degrades the conversation into platitudes when there is real nuanced discourse that should be happening, and that can lead to better informed creators and viewers," he said.
Until the situation develops further, YouTubers can appeal the decision to de-monetize their video if they feel it has been flagged unjustly. For prominent YouTuber Hank Green, that process seems to have already reversed the decision on one of his videos.
YouTube swiftly reinstated monetization on the Zataari video when we called them on it. But this whole situation is very very worrying.
YouTube swiftly reinstated monetization on the Zataari video when we called them on it. But this whole situation is very very worrying.- Hank Green (@hankgreen) September 1, 2016
We have reached out to YouTube for further comment.
- A CryptoPunk NFT bought for $74 resurfaced after four years and just sold for $2 million
- Best DIY wallpapers to revamp your house
- India's largest car maker loses nearly two thirds of its profit to chip shortage
- New Range Rover: Check out expected price in India, features and other details
- Softbank will make $250 million by selling a fifth of its stake in Policybazaar