Youtube’s new restrictions for videos with advertisement monetization have many users angry and confused
By Ryland M
The YouTube community has been in turmoil since the new “Advertiser Friendly Guidelines” were released on Youtube’s help site. The list of guidelines defines certain content that is not deemed “advertiser friendly”:
-Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity or sexual humour
-Violence, including displays of serious injury or violent extremism
-Inappropriate language, including profanity and vulgar language
-Promotion of drugs and related substances
-Controversial or sensitive subjects or events, including war, political conflicts, natural disasters, and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown
The page then states that “If any of the above describes any portion of your video, then the video may not be approved for monetization.” This means any video that contains any vulgar language, shows someone getting hurt, or talking about anything controversial including politics, will be demonetized. This means that no advertisements are displayed on the video, so the content creator will receive no revenue whatsoever.
YouTube content creators generate millions of dollars of ad revenue on their videos, and with YouTube restricting any content that breaks these rules, many creators feel like they are being forced out of their job and alienated by YouTube. The number one most subscribed channel on YouTube, “Pewdiepie,” has almost 14 billion overall views, and rakes in huge amounts of revenue, including an estimated $300,000 USD just in the past two weeks. This channel makes extensive use of profanity and sexual humour, and the channel is even officially endorsed by YouTube for its new premium content service “Youtube Red.”
It seems YouTube is struggling over whether it wants to prioritize its content creators and viewers, or it’s advertising partners that it receives billions from. On one side, YouTube wants to keep advertising companies using its service, but on the other side, without extremely popular content creators gaining revenue from their content, there will be no content to advertise on. This is not the only issue YouTube is dealing with, as over the past year, there has been an ever-increasing problem of viewers abusing YouTube’s content flagging system by falsely reporting videos for using copyrighted content, resulting in the videos being taken down, losing millions for content creators and Youtube itself. Youtube’s new program entitled “Youtube Heroes” rewards viewers for flagging videos, and if done enough, the viewers will be given tools allowing them to mass-flag videos on content creator’s channels without even watching the video. This seems extremely counter-intuitive, and will only worsen the situation. We will have to see what Youtube does to calm the community and solve these issues. Until then, Youtube seems more like a greedy advertisement platform than a content-sharing website to many of its loyal content creators and viewers.