YouTube has finally taken steps that could stop creators who profit off discriminatory content once and for all.
Thanks to a new policy change, creators will no longer be able to monetise videos that contain offensive content. YouTube have updated their creator guidelines to provide better guidance on what constitutes “ad-friendly” content.
Most importantly, they’ve added content categories that won’t be eligible for advertising:
Hateful content: Content that promotes discrimination or disparages or humiliates an individual or group of people on the basis of the individual’s or group’s race, ethnicity, or ethnic origin, nationality, religion, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristic associated with systematic discrimination or marginalization.
Inappropriate use of family entertainment characters: Content that depicts family entertainment characters engaged in violent, sexual, vile, or otherwise inappropriate behavior, even if done for comedic or satirical purposes.
Incendiary and demeaning content: Content that is gratuitously incendiary, inflammatory, or demeaning. For example, video content that uses gratuitously disrespectful language that shames or insults an individual or group.
Great news for everyone who’s sick of seeing discriminatory content online, right?
However, videos that are non-discriminatory but still considered offensive will also be affected. According to YouTube’s parent company Google, they will take a tough stance on videos with “strong profanity or vulgarity,” “sexually suggestive content” and “drugs and dangerous products or substances.”
YouTube made the changes after brands pulled ads that were being shown on offensive content
The company lost millions in ad revenue after an investigation by The Times found high-profile brands’ adverts on extremist videos. They initially responded by tightening up their restricted mode filter, which resulted in family-friendly LGBTQ content from being shown in restricted mode, sparking backlash. YouTube is also introducing new controls to allow brands to have greater power over which videos feature their ads.
The change is good news for viewers who are anti-discrimination. But the sweeping changes also threaten creators who cover adult themes in a non-discriminatory. YouTube has also said that “videos about recent tragedies, even if presented for news or documentary purposes, may not be eligible for advertising given the subject matter,” suggesting that YouTube-based news sites could be at risk.
Not everyone is happy with the new rules
Some YouTube fans have come out against the changes, arguing that the platform is undermining free speech. But it’s important to note that free speech only protects people in the eyes the law. The platform has also clarified that videos judged not to be “advertiser-friendly” could remain on the website as long as they did not break its guidelines.
YOUTube is being Slaughtered by Corporations to Stifle Free Speech and POPULAR Dissent. They Must Control Everything!!
— Christopher Greene (@amtvmedia) May 29, 2017
You talk about free speech and freedom of expression but your ad policies say differently,
— Ben (@TheBlackHawkYT) June 2, 2017
“We hope this additional information will provide you with more insight into the types of content that brands have told us they don’t want to advertise against and help you to make more informed content decisions,” said YouTube’s VP of product management Ariel Bardin.
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