How YouTube’s Ad Restrictions Have Gone Very Wrong

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In the wake of the horrific shooting attack at YouTube headquarters, global attention has been drawn to Google’s content and monetization policies for YT, since the shooter apparently had a number of public grievances against YT in these regards (“Tragically, the YouTube Shooting Attack Is Not a Complete Surprise” – https://lauren.vortex.com/2018/04/04/tragically-the-youtube-shooting-attack-is-not-a-complete-surprise).

Part of what makes this all confusing is that Google’s recent series of YT policy changes — popularly called “Adpocalypse” — has included a number of different elements, some of which appear to have been much more appropriate than others.

The result is that many YT users who’ve been playing by the rules have been unfairly tossed into the dumpster along with the real abusers.

For example, I support Google’s moves to crack down (via demonetization and/or removal) on YT videos/channels that contain hate speech or other content that is clearly in violation of YT Terms of Service or Community Standards. In fact, I feel that Google has not gone far enough in some respects to deal with specific categories of violating, potentially dangerous content (“On YouTube, What Potentially Deadly Challenge Will Be Next?” – https://lauren.vortex.com/2018/04/02/on-youtube-what-potentially-deadly-challenge-will-be-next). I’ve also proposed techniques to help quickly detect truly abusive content (“Solving YouTube’s Abusive Content Problems — via Crowdsourcing” – https://lauren.vortex.com/2018/03/11/solving-youtubes-abusive-content-problems-via-crowdsourcing).

But along the way, Google made the misguided decision to drastically curtail which YT users could run ads to monetize their videos, essentially slapping “the little guys” in their faces. These users’ ads never brought in much money by Google standards, but every dollar counts to ordinary folks like you and me!

Why did Google do this? I suspect that they felt this to be a convenient time to shed the large number of small uploaders who didn’t bring in much revenue to Google. And conveniently, Google could argue (largely disingenuously, I believe)  that this was actually part of their broader anti-abuse efforts as well.

One can understand why Google would prefer not to bother evaluating small YT channels for terms compliance. But the reality is that the worst abusers often have among the largest YT followings — sometimes with millions of subscribers and/or large numbers of video views. 

By virtue of these very non-Googley and significantly draconian monetization restrictions applied to small, completely non-abusing YT channels and users, vast numbers of innocents are being condemned as if they were guilty. 

–Lauren–

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1 thought on “How YouTube’s Ad Restrictions Have Gone Very Wrong”

  1. Those little guys are also the bush leagues for the big stars. Once they get rid of all those “underperformers”, they may find that the new net stars prefer to stick with the platforms that supported them before they got famous.

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