Censorship 2.0 – YouTube Demonetisation
If you’re a web content creator or advertiser, then chances are you’ve heard of YouTube’s recent policy change regarding demonetisation on videos.
Yes, if this looks like blanket censorship of content on Youtube, you’re probably right. A brief look at the top channels on Youtube can show you a whole wave of creators who regularly use “vulgar language” and “sexually suggestive content”.
Five of the top ten YouTube channels belong to the most popular pop artists of the last decade (Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry) and are hosted by Vevo, and thus they are immune to the censorship – but for the other lot of creators, many hosted by Maker Studios, there have been widespread reports of demonetized videos which results in thousands of dollars of lost revenue for content creators around the globe.
The internet is flooded with complaints from top YouTubers such as Phillip DeFranco, PewDiePie, h3h3productions and more – but what hasn’t been discussed as much is:
How does content censorship affect advertisers?
Google’s AdWords, which powers those 15-30 second ads you usually skip on Youtube, pairs up advertisers with channels and videos that share similar metadata – matching target demographics, keywords, locations, and genre taste.
However, with this recent wave of demonetisation, many ads are going to be linked to videos which still have ads enabled on them – a number that seems to be waning, as heard from aformentioned YouTubers.
And if the most popular YouTubers are losing their advertisers, then they’re also losing a bit of control of their demographics.
Similarly, the criteria for content to be monetised hasn’t been confirmed to affect certain ads through AdWords, the ones like:
If content creators can’t have sexually suggestive content, drug usage, or violence in their videos – then where do these sort of ads go?
The problem has been stated about a billion times on social media – but in essence, this type of policy only encourages people to leave Youtube, or bend the knee and make vanilla, “ad-friendly” content.
This attempt at making YouTube more advertiser friendly comes off more as an attempt to make it a safe space, and video hosting alternatives have already picked up on this:
The Silver Lining
According to the Internet Creators Guild, this form of demonetisation has actually been occurring since 2012, and only now has the algorithm begun to inform Youtubers of the changes.
There is also an appeals process for these creators – and while a claim has a high chance of reinstating monetisation, this just creates more work for Youtube moderators in the long run, as well as lost revenue.
Medium ran an excellent article on the subject, suggesting some changes to improve this system – because ultimately, the intent is good, but the execution needs work.
- If this is not already being done, algorithmically de-monetized videos should be spot-checked for accuracy. Creators should not have the sole burden of asking for manual review.
- The video manager should allow creators to sort videos by de-monetization so that there is an easy way for them to review their de-monetized videos without digging through hundreds of videos.
- Use data from manual spot checks and re-monetized videos to refine the de-monetization algorithm.
Moving forward, it also seems that Google AdWords needs to work as a better mediator between advertiser and content creator.
The result will end in better exposure for both parties, and hopefully better ads as well – by acknowledging the nuance of web content, ad agencies will create content tailored to new and emerging content markets, such as video game commentaries, travel vloggers, and whatever you want to call these sort of Super Deluxe videos.
About Red Ripley
We are a video production team. We partner with top companies and brands. We craft powerful stories that move and influence viewers. We use promotion to bring it to their target audience. We have fun doing it.
Want to see what we recommend?