YouTubers are outraged because of the new YouTube advertising model which makes it very hard to earn money off their videos. A big change in YouTube’s content moderation system restricts what kind of content YouTubers can publish and many of them got their videos demonetized which means that they can’t make money off of it. Content that YouTube considers “not advertiser-friendly” ranges from sexual and violent content, inappropriate language, and drug promotion. YouTube has also banned “controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown.”
A famous YouTuber Philip DeFranco got more than 40 of his videos demonetized because of “content that may not be appropriate for advertising.” That makes it nearly impossible for DeFranco to earn any money and YouTube is basically shutting down his channel. He is baffled how YouTube decided his videos have inappropriate content. “When I looked at the content, I did talk about potential drug abuse and how that could be a bad thing, but does that break their guidelines? I appealed a bunch of videos, a lot of them got reinstated but one was denied. I went through the tags, there was nothing offensive.”
DeFranco expressed his censorship concerns in his video saying, “By taking away the ability to monetize a video where you’re saying things that they don’t deem ‘okay,’ that’s been described as censorship with a different name. If you do this on the regular and you have no advertising, it’s not sustainable.”
The problem is the reasons why YouTube bans or restricts a video is neither fair nor clear, it just looks like censorship. Many YouTubers are concerned because of this censorship, fearing they will have to shut their channels down since YouTube is making it impossible for them to make any money. The hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty emerged recently and a lot of YouTubers and their fans have expressed their outrage and of course, made fun of YouTube’s ludicrous new rules.
— Not Will Ferrell (@itsWillyFerrell) September 2, 2016
YouTube responded by saying, “We did not change our policy of demonetizing videos that may not be appropriate for Google’s brand advertisers, nor have we changed how these policies are enforced. The idea was to make this information accessible more easily, which is why some YouTubers felt that they ‘suddenly’ got a bunch of flagged videos at once.” So it seems like YouTube was demonetizing videos all along, but they just made it clearer when it happens. However the YouTube community is still concerned because a lot of newsworthy topics and gaming videos may end up being suppressed by YouTube. The answer we got is, “We understand that high-quality content isn’t always sanitized, especially when it comes to real-world issues. If your video has graphic material in it, you can help make it advertiser-friendly by providing context.” You can read more on YouTube’s clarification here.
So is YouTube really over or is this just an overreaction? We’ll just have to wait and see.