As if flag campaigns and false DMCAs weren’t already fucking over Youtubers, a new way to have your channel tanked has emerged! My fellow Youtubers have been in a panic for the past 48 hours as massive amounts of videos across the platform have been demonetized. What this means is Youtube has stripped the ability to make money from these videos, deeming them “not advertiser friendly”. While I haven’t personally been hit with a demonetization notice, many of my friends have. Phillip DeFranco, a Youtuber who’s been in the game for 10 years with 4.5 million subscribers had over 40 of his videos hit. Thousands of smaller Youtubers have been affected as well, which is especially worrisome. Having even just a few of your videos stripped from ads can be devastating to a smaller channel’s survivability.
Youtube reserves to right to determine what it deems inappropriate for advertisers. However, the problem lies in the new, incredibly vague Terms of Service. Look closely, and you’ll see how these terms effect virtually EVERY Youtuber.
That’s right folks- don’t swear, talk about really anything in the news, say anything sexual, or be controversial (that’s not vague at all, is it?) in any way. Basically, sit in a corner, smile, and talk about how much you love puppies. But then again, that might offend cat people, right?
It’s unclear if this is some sort of automated system or deliberate action, but my guess would be that it is automated to an extent- It seems counterproductive for Youtube to fuck over it’s biggest creators. Huge channels like The Young Turks, Phillip DeFranco, and wildly popular beauty gurus have been hit. People talking about things as tame as acne solutions are seeing their money disappear.
This situation is particularly concerning for me, as I make highly controversial videos. My subscribers watch me specifically because I discuss highly contentious topics and current events. My channel has grown wildly in the past few months, which is why last month I felt comfortable enough to quit my dayjob and focus on content creation fulltime. I’m hoping Youtube sees how counterproductive this new system is and reverses it, because before all of this Youtube was one of the last safe havens for free speech and exchange of ideas, however controversial they may be.