How YouTube’s Ad Friendly Guidelines Punish The Wrong People!

As the world is already aware, Google recently changed their terms of service to better reflect the types of content they will allow on their video sharing platform YouTube, including their Ad Friendly Guidelines that content creators who intend to monetize from their efforts must follow. While Google’s new guidelines have done a lot of weed out things like hate speech, fake news, and content the public would generally deem to be distasteful or discriminatory in nature, the unfortunate reality is that these changes have also brought about some unintended victims as well.

For starters, it appears Google’s new “Advertiser Friendly Guidelines” are hurting creators simply for producing gaming videos that depict fictional violence, or even that use simple words like “War.” In fact, YouTubers are up in arms right now over Google’s mass demonetization of their videos covering the new Call of Duty WWII.

While its true that many videos like Call of Duty are typically intended for a mature audience, apparently Google can’t tell the difference between violence in the form of fiction vs. real life.

Does Google really think that advertisers and the companies they represent would throw a fit over a game that depicts the 2nd World War? Just like horror movies depict violence, video games often do as well. But you don’t see advertisers or anyone throwing a fit over the horror movies being displayed across major cable networks 24/7. Advertisements in horror related films has never been a problem, but in video games it is?

As per Google’s terms of service for their ad friendly guidelines, they state content that depicts quote, “ Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism”, and “ Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown.”

While I wholeheartedly get that Google has a want and need to keep depictions of real world violence, extremist content, or content that reflects political conflicts in check, why on earth are you attacking gamers?

And, what about those who produce war related content for historical and educational reasons? Are they too considered “Not advertiser Friendly?”

Is Google going to start demonetizing fighting game videos as well, like Mortal Kombat? Is the simple depiction of blood and gore in a fictional setting to much for Google’s executives to bare?

My thought on all of this is that Google has gone too far! I guess the cable networks should censor horror films like Friday The 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street too while we’re at it. What a bunch of horse crap.

As noted in this article from Kotaku: “Youbers Say They Can’t Make MOney Covering Call of Duty”, popular Call of Duty YouTuber TmarTn stated he earned just $113.00 from over 750,000 views of his more recent videos. Apparently making videos of Call of Duty are in violation of Google’s over-the-top terms of service.

Such little revenue from such an enormous amount of traffic is hardly sustainable.

Another popular Call of Duty YouTuber known as PrestigeIsKey has also expressed his disbelief in how he’s being treated, noting a number of his videos have not only been demonetized, but actually removed from the platform altogether. His Call of Duty Zombies videos were completely taken down.

Others who’re complaining of the recent new requirements regarding what is acceptable and what isn’t on the YouTube platform may nor have ground to stand on considering the types of content they create.

Let’s face it, advertisers don’t want their ads dumped on videos depicting the use of derogatory, discriminatory, or violent content. In the case of deceptive content creators like Alex Jones who spreads lies in the attempt to manipulate the public and spread his hatred for humanity, it would make sense to throw these types of idiots under the bus where they belong.

But when it gets to the point where we’re censoring honest content from honest creators who just want to play their favorite games and have fun, then idea of fairness goes out the window entirely.

Google previously stated they have a responsibility to their advertisers. Well guess what Google, you have a responsibility to protect your content creators too! They made you what you are!

The mass and often unfair demonetization of creators content also serves as a devastating blow to their financial well being. Given the state of the world’s ailing economy, many turned to YouTube has a sole means of survival, only to realize their livelihoods are on the line. Now these creators have to think long and hard as to how they’re going to put food on the table for their families, no thanks to Google’s pathetic terms of service and algorithms that can’t seem to tell the difference between real life depictions of violence, and what is essentially nothing more than a video depicting the same fiction as a horror movie.

This is all a harsh reality for these creators too. Let’s face it, the U.S. economy is literally crumbling as thousands upon thousands of retail store-fronts have shuddered in the past year, and it doesn’t appear the economic decline being seen in America right now is going to slow throughout 2017. YouTube’s creators like many others know that finding a job outside of the web is unlikely for these reasons, and without some sort of compromise from Google, the end of their creative careers may be near.


While Google did acknowledge that some users may be wrongly affected by their new policies and algorithmic changes, as noted in this post on their official YouTube forums:!topic/youtube/BUB5JS7TlDE , it appears Google’s latest actions are purely intentional, rather than being made in error.

All being said, I totally disapprove of what Google is doing to what are otherwise totally honest creators, who have no bad intentions of any kind. Google seriously needs to rethink how they determine what is acceptable, and what is not, and make a better effort to after those who really intend to wrong, rather than those produce gaming videos to share with their audiences. Either way, if Google thinks the world of content creators is going to back down, they’re sorely wrong. We will continue to fight this nonsense until stops punishing people who don’t deserve it.

Written and published by Daniel Imbellino — Co-Founder of Strategic Social Networking and Many thanks for reading. Be sure to check out Strategic Social Networking Community on Google+ to connect with tens of thousands of IT professionals and learn effective strategies to grow your social presence online. You’re also welcome to follow Strategic’s brand page on G+ for the latest social media and IT industry news.