YouTube’s new enforcement on a year-old terms of service policy has come out biting content creators like a starved, rabid dog let loose in a park filled with toddlers. Lots of YouTubers are currently being hit hard with demonetization from YouTube, claiming that a lot of their content is no longer ad-friendly. The public was made widely aware of this enforcement thanks to a content creator named Philip DeFranco and his anti-SJW video surrounding the Lyft driver controversy, which was denied monetization.
Following on DeFranco’s public announcement, other YouTubers began posting up letters they were receiving in mass from YouTube’s support indicating that various videos across the spectrum (from learning how to treat acne to dealing with depression) were being flagged for demonetization. Small and large outlets alike were affected, including news organizations like The Young Turks.
According to a video from H3H3 Productions, the flagging might be the result of an automated bot. Why it seemed to go after anti-SJW content first was not answered but in the video below he explains that a lot of it has to do with tagging and headlines.
So essentially, meta-data for a video’s content could get your content flagged and demonetized. According to H3H3 Productions, this means you cannot include words like: rape, depression, suicide, Holocaust, Hitler, Nazis, racism, SJWs, death, killing, murder, sex, or any sexual or pornographic terminology.
By avoiding tagging and headlining your content with those terms, as well as avoiding anything in the description that might set off a flag, H3H3 presumes that your videos won’t be demonetized.
Now as mentioned, this policy has been in effect for more than a year but it was not aggressively pursued or enforced until recently.
Nevertheless, the selective demonetization of some videos across various topics could be due to the automated flagging from a bot, as H3H3 suggests. In the case of Philip DeFranco, his producer notified him that after speaking directly with YouTube the demonetization of his videos would be staying in effect. So in that case, the anti-SJW content – whether it was flagged by a bot or not – was still not going to be allowed to be monetized according to YouTube’s standards.
Why YouTube has enacted this enforcement and what their end game is has not been clarified yet. According to Kotaku, who contacted a YouTube representative, this policy was always in effect and they’ve always been demonetizing videos for quite some time, and only recently have they been notifying people about it and the process in which demonetized videos can be appealed, stating…
“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.”
Does this mean that YouTubers haven’t been making money all this time and they’re just being notified about it? The article doesn’t say and the rep doesn’t explain.
More YouTubers who have been notified will have to roll out their finances to show whether or not the recent notifications coincide with actual drops in revenue, or if the notifications are just notifications and their content has been demonetized for the past year.