Making a living as a YouTube creator has its ups and its downs. There are certainly many difficulties with it, and thanks to a recent YouTube change, a lot of YouTubers are finding that they’re not earning any money off of their hard work. The change revolves YouTube suddenly taking ad revenue and earning capabilities away from videos and accounts they deemed “controversial.” Those “controversial” videos weren’t considered to be “ad-friendly,” whatever that might mean.
Among the accounts affected by this change include The Young Turks, an online talk show that features commentary on current political issues. Likewise, another YouTuber who had a video “mocking SJWs” was notified that his video would also no longer pull in ad revenue. And, strangely enough, a woman’s video blog entry regarding her acne was also pulled, as it was supposedly considered to be (you guessed it) not “ad-friendly.”
Supposedly, according to a statement given to Variety from a YouTube rep, the policy hasn’t actually changed. What has changed, apparently, was how they notified these creators that they were in breach of policy. Their rep wrote:
While our policy of demonetizing videos due to advertiser-friendly concerns hasn’t changed, we’ve recently improved the notification and appeal process to ensure better communication to our creators
So, in other words, they shouldn’t have been earning money from those videos in the first place. Uh, okay.
What’s especially concerning about this change-not-change is that there’s somebody deciding what’s “ad-friendly” or not. While it’s important and understandable that YouTube would like to earn money (duh), succumbing to the will of advertising committees and sales reps sets a frightening precedent for the long-standing video outlet.
It’s important to note here that the videos remain up and viewable–they haven’t been taken down or censored in any way aside from having their ad revenue streams pulled. However, knowing that a lot of these creators subsist on such funding, it isn’t hard to imagine that with those streams suddenly gone, they may have to consider leaving the business altogether. And that, more than anything else, would be an incredibly horrible thing to have happen.