YouTube, currently notorious for its “Drama” channels, is shifting its stance on controversial videos by demonetizing videos moderators deem not-child-friendly, regardless of whether it breaches the sites Terms of Service.
In June, YouTube made a controversial change to its Terms of Service which added rules dictating that harassment or the inciting of harassment was not allowed.
In the past few week, YouTube has begun taking action on these changes by striking YouTubers’ channels, demonetizing videos, or even going as far as temporarily (or permanently) deleting channels along with their livelihoods.
These decisions on behalf of YouTube has culminated today when YouTuber Phillip DeFranco, a popular newshost on YouTube had one of his videos demonetized for not being “advertiser-friendly” or using “graphic content or excessive language”.
“Taking away the ability to monetize a video where you’re saying things they [YouTube officials] don’t deem okay, that’s been described as censorship with a different name because if you do this on the regular and you have no advertising, its not sustainable” DeFranco said in his video.
YouTube’s response to DeFranco has only made the situation more difficult for the site to manage.
The site is not very good with its public relations.
YouTube has been getting into trouble with its content creators recently for issuing false copyright strikes against videos, which have near identical effects to simple demonetization, but much scarier ramifications.
YouTube Channels can receive three copyright or community guideline strikes before being completely deleted. The first strike restricts the YouTuber from monetizing the video in question, and the second strike locks the owner out of the channel for two weeks.
Recently, YouTube Goth Musician Social Repose had one of his videos, a performance art piece about accidentally impregnating his girlfriend, was removed by YouTube and his channel was issued a false strike.
False strikes on YouTube have become a normal occurrence, as YouTube’s copyright system is highly exploitable by users and YouTube employees alike.
The main theme of the video was abortion, and Social Repose predicted that the video received its community guideline strike by an employee who was anti-abortion.
In the past year, “Drama” channels such as Scarce or the much more notorious Drama Alert have popped up with the sole purpose of reporting on the behaviors of other YouTubers similarly to television’s TMZ. These channels are infamous for inciting or instigating fights on the internet or starting “witch hunts” against individuals the YouTuber presented as unpleasant in some way.
In early January, Drama Alert’s host Daniel Keem, better known as “Keemstar” was involved in a libel scandal in which he falsely accused an elderly convicted pedophile of streaming the MMO Runescape, when in reality the streamer was just another elderly man.
Keem, having been previously banned from YouTube for breaching the Terms of Service, used a loophole to continue making Youtube videos (he may not be allowed to do that for much longer either).
Keemstar, and the rise of “Reaction Channels” (no not the kind that steal videos) such as LeafyisHere, Pyrocynical, or H3H3 Productions led to YouTube adding its Terms of Service section on harassment.
These channels are responsible for a large portion of the criticism brought on YouTube for its broken Copyright system and poor harassment policies.
Concerning DeFranco’s situation and the future of YouTube’s policy on explicit content, YouTube’s press contacts have yet to respond to my email as of press time, and I will update this story as it develops.
If you have any info from inside of YouTube, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any information you may have.
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