YouTube admits its “creators are currently being hurt” by demonetisation

3 min read


YouTube’s got a big problem right now, and I’m not talking about the overabundance of hyperbolic, overenthusiastic product shills. Many of its most prolific creators are finding their videos demonetised before they’ve even gone live. Creators – particularly those who rely on YouTube’s ad money to live – are understandably upset, and many are contemplating abandoning the platform.

It stems from YouTube’s crackdown on unsavoury content that either targeted children, or showed them in perilous or paedophillic situations. YouTube’s seen another “adpocalypse” as a result, with big name advertisers including Mars, Adidas, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank and more pulling ads until the problem could be remedied. Earlier this year, a similar chain of events happened that saw advertisers pull out over fears their products would be linked with hateful content.

One of the problems with content being flagged is that it all appears to be done algorithmically, with sporadic human intervention. It means many creators have to manually appeal these flags, leaving their videos demonetised in the interim.

YouTube is aware of the problem, addressing it in a statement to Polygon:

Our community of creators are currently being hurt by bad actors who are spamming our systems with videos masquerading as family content. In order to protect creators and advertisers alike, we’re taking aggressive action using a combination of machine learning and people to take action on this content through age-gating, demonetization and even the removal of channels where necessary. As always, creators can appeal video-specific demonetizations, and our goal is to ultimately to protect the revenue of creators across the platform by taking these necessary actions.

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It’s something that’s affecting some of YouTube’s biggest voices, like Philip De Franco, Jim Sterling and Casey Neistat – as well as a few of our local YouTubers.

I understand that YouTube wants to make its platform a friendlier an safer place for children – because as it is now it’s a cesspool of hatred and toxicity. It’s fantastic that they’re finally trying to do something about it – but if it’s done at the expense of its creators, we could see YouTube eat itself.

Last Updated: November 30, 2017

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • For the Emperor!

    Does an auto-demonetized video still go live, potentially going viral and getting many views, but the creator gets nothing for it then? Even if it was a false flag?

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      That’s how it works, as far as I understand it.

      • For the Emperor!

        That is just dodgy as hell man 🙁

  • Hammersteyn

    @Darryn_Bonthuys:disqus and @rincethis:disqus probably owes Youtube money by now.

    • you can’t proove that!

      • Hammersteyn

        I can “proove” it. When last did you make a cooking video?

  • Original Heretic

    Typical. In an effort to “make things better”, someone gets screwed over.

    • Hammersteyn

      Yeah, the people that keeps the site alive.

  • EA_CommunityAssurance

    They could solve this problem using a robust microtransaction model.

    • OneLargeBanana

      or lootboxes. Always, trust in lootboxes.

      • EA_CommunityAssurance

        Random video for 5 bucks?

        • OneLargeBanana

          Random “free” video for 5 dollahs a month?

  • OneLargeBanana

    If there was ever a time for a worthy competitor to emerge from the shadows…!

    Or as twitter celebrity and professional victim, Brianna Wu would put it “….As a software engineer, crime journalist, hardcore gamer, techfem and future congressman… snaaaarrrllll!… fart!”

  • Craig “CrAiGiSh” Dodd

    Starting to also see local YouTube streamers move over to Twitch.

    Getting screwed royally for no reasons …

  • I think it was Casey Neistat (however you spell that) who had the best idea for large creators.

    Anyone with 100k or more subs shouldn’t have their videos de-moneytised without a human being checking. We all get that they can’t check every video but surely your top creators who earn millions for YouTube could be given that perk?

    I know one of Casey’s videos where he was asking for donations for the Vegas massacre was demoneytised even though he said in the video all income would go to the vegas charities. Youtube needs to catch a serious wake up quickly else someone could snipe their entire industry out from under their noses.

  • Peter Pan

    An semi-open medium means the worst of mankind are given a voice. YouTube has grown too big to contain itself and censor itself. With the millions of videos going up daily, I doubt even Google can really contain this monster without more stringent pre-approval of content. I do hate that idea, as the freedom YouTube provides many, also provides a medium through which constructive and legitimate content can be shown to millions. It’s just a pity that it takes a handful of the despised to spoil it for the majority!

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