YouTube Get it Together
Before we begin, a little context as to why I am so informed. When I was in high school, I was grounded for several months due to some teenage shenanigans. What I did with my time on the weekends was deeply reflect on my wrong-doings, and watch YouTube. Now, it was 2009, so YouTube was nothing like it is today. I’m talking old-school iJustine and Smosh kind-of content.
Flash forward today, and I am still an avid consumer of YouTube, as the rest of the world is. DIY channels, beauty-gurus and your average content creators are my jam. The one rule that channels must follow to keep my subscription is honesty. As soon as I get the inkling that people have “sold-out” to “the man” and fallen into a sponsorship blackhole, I’m done. If I wanted to watch advertisements, I wouldn’t immediately click through the ads that play before your video.
YouTube has recently changed its bylaws about monetization and what constitutes appropriate content for advertisers. These new rules state that videos who want the money-flow shouldn’t include the following:
- Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor
- Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism
- Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity and vulgar language
- Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items
- Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown
YouTubers are responding, and boy are they pissed. Philip DeFranco released a video talking about the demonetization and others have followed, worried about their channels. What this means is that YouTubers will be able to make content, but if it breaks any of these rules they won’t be allowed to make any money off it. It’s a double-edged sword, YouTubers will have to change their content to meet these rules, that or not get paid. People may think that’s not a big deal, but most of these YouTubers have made YouTube their full-time job. It’s their only source of income.
YouTube is clapping back with comments that they haven’t changed anything, but they have merely changed the way that they monetize. There hasn’t be a super big reason why the change either, I guess they are trying to keep the money regulated? Seems like a very very very thin line YouTube, not cool.
Something that irks me about these regulations is the super vague connotation of these rules. What is “sexually suggestive” or “inappropriate language” to you may be completely different to me. Who is to say? Is it YouTube, or the advertisers holding their money all to themselves like Scrooge McDuck? There are new “controversial and sensitive subjects” being adding to our repertoire everyday. Remember when homosexual was the proper term for gay? Not anymore. There would have to be someone constantly keeping up (don’t say with the Kardashians, don’t do it) with what YouTube is specifying.
Doesn’t this sound like a load of crap? Ambiguous crap actually. Sexually suggestive content could be people talking about sexual education. YouTubers like Laci Green will be flagged constantly, which is not okay. She is honest, up-front and real about sex and things related. That is something that isn’t even taught in our schools, even in our sexual education classes in our schools.
What these rules mean to watchers like you and me is that we may be seeing censored content from our favorite YouTubers, which sucks, big time. YouTube originated as a creator’s space, where people could make whatever content they wanted, and people are famous now because of it. It’s what the people want dammit!
YouTube, you can’t tell the internet what to do, no matter how much money you leverage. So please, get it together.