If you have comments on your videos that YouTube deems “inappropriate”, your video will be demonetized. This means that you either have to carefully curate your comment section, or completely close it down.
On February 21st, 2019, YouTuber Jessica Ballinger contacted YouTube via Twitter asking why all of her videos were being demonetized even though they featured her five-year-old son. Well, YouTube responded by deferring to Philip DeFranco but still explained that comments made on a completely safe for work, all-ages video can still result in your video being demonetized.
(2/2) With regard to the actions that we’ve taken, even if your video is suitable for advertisers, inappropriate comments could result in your video receiving limited or no ads (yellow icon). Let us know if you have any questions.
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) February 22, 2019
The reference to Philip DeFranco points to a comment made by the YouTube content creator who shared a video on February 20th, 2019 from YouTube indicating that the staff at YouTube has disabled comments on tens of millions of videos and terminated more than 400 channels all because of their “illegal comments”.
TLDR: Disabled comments on tens of millions of videos. Terminated over 400 channels. Reported illegal comments to law enforcement. pic.twitter.com/zFHFfkX9FD
— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) February 21, 2019
If you are unable to read the comment in the image shared by Philip DeFranco, it states…
“We appreciate you raising awareness of this with your fans, and that you realize all of us at YouTube are working incredibly hard to root out horrible behavior on our platform. (By way of an update, in the last 48 hours, beyond our normal protections we’ve disabled comments on tens of millions of videos. We’ve also terminated over 400 channels for the comments they left on videos, and reported illegal comments to law enforcement. There is more to be done, and we are continuing to grow our team in order to keep people safe.)”
Typically this response was not met with much cheer nor glee, given that it means that YouTube content creators are now responsible for the comments left by visitors. Not only that, but it also means that commenters posting content that YouTube deems “inappropriate” can result in a channel becoming demonetized.
The solution? Kill off your entire comment section.
Obviously people responded with common sense questions, such as: why aren’t the commenters being penalized instead of the content creators? And why do content creators lose monetization for user comments?
It’s like you can’t f-cking win. One thing after another where it’s not only not your fault, but active d-baggery from other people, and yet you’re the one getting screwed. Unbelievable. How you’ve still got strength to carry on is beyond me
— PaulieG (@pauliegtweets) February 21, 2019
It’s almost the equivalent of local news stations losing ad revenue because of comments viewers post about the news online.
Also, another problem that was posed was that YouTube uses comments as engagement metrics to promote or recommend videos. This means that for content creators who disable comments altogether, they’re losing a key metric in getting their videos spread across YouTube, as pointed out by Naomi Wu, who runs the Sexy Cyborg YouTube channel.
Honestly they have my channel throttled so hard at this point it’s like swimming with a weights on. Doesn’t matter what I build, it doesn’t stand a chance since it will never show up on the suggested page anymore. Time to pivot to hardware manufacturing or something soon. pic.twitter.com/f1jQ8gvKvU
— Naomi Wu 机械妖姬 (@RealSexyCyborg) February 21, 2019
Naomi Wu was also negatively impacted by SubScribeStar being deplatformed by payment processors in an attempt by payment lenders to stifle financial opportunities to pundits like Sargon of Akkad and Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer.
It was discovered that a lot of the monetary deplatforming was coming down from orders handed out by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, using an unconstitutional measure known as “Operation Choke Point” to put the squeeze on payment lenders.
Nevertheless, even for YouTubers like Jessica Ballinger who claims that she has a “HIGHLY monitored” comment section, it still wasn’t monitored enough to avoid being demonetized. A common corporate-apologizer for YouTube’s pro-censorship policies, Keemstar, suggested for Ballinger (and others) to simply disable the comments in hopes that the video could be monetized.
For now, my best advice is to disable comments in the hopes that the video can be monetized.
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) February 22, 2019
Others lamented the lack of competition to YouTube, ignoring smaller but less censored platforms such as BitChute.
However, BitChute has also become a victim of monetization deplatforming, which ultimately deters content creators from flocking to the platform.
For now, both big and small YouTubers are being told to basically disable their comments if they want to stay monetized (or prevent their channel from being shut down). This is a tactic that the mainstream media has been using in order to stifle feedback from users, as well as prevent people from seeing factual corrections that people might post or suggest in the comment section. It’s easier for media outlets to promote propaganda if users have been stricken with the inability to communicate effectively or freely.
(Thanks for the news tip ThyBonesConsumed)