YouTube’s demonetization has created a war with its creators

YouTube, a popular global video sharing platform, is home to an overwhelming amount of content creators, spanning across a multitude of different genres. YouTube was created more than a decade ago with the intention to give a growing online audience a seamless interface in which to upload videos.

YouTube channels come in many different shapes and sizes and for different purposes. Some people use the platform merely to privately share videos with family and friends, whilst others use it to produce content for the rest of the world to see. In fact, many users have successfully turned to their YouTube channels as a full-time job and, therefore, their primary source of income. This has been a  solid plan of action for a while until recently, when YouTube changed a couple of its rules and their approach to this monetization scheme.

When Google unveiled new changes to YouTube’s advertisement monetization policies in 2018, it surprised the members of the creative community. Previously, the threshold for a channel to be able to qualify for YouTube’s Partner Program, which enables creators to collect ad revenue, was a total of 10,000 views. Now, in order to receive ad revenue, channels must have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of total watch-time over a 12-month period. These changes stemmed from YouTube facing a rash of criticism from advertisers whose ads ran alongside what they saw as unsuitable and inappropriate video content.

This new system is continuously demonetizing videos for no evident reason, affecting many YouTubers’ ad revenue. While it is possible for creators to appeal to YouTube to manually check their videos and make them eligible for monetization again, the share of views a video gets is always within the first three days of upload, and those views will go unrewarded. However, because of the sheer number of videos uploaded, it could take a while for YouTube to act on the false demonetization.

YouTube’s new system has left many creators, such as Shane Dawson, frustrated and annoyed. One of Dawson’s hour and a half long exploration of conspiracy theories was demonetized by YouTube for 12 hours because of a reviewing mistake. This video from Dawson, one of YouTube’s most popular creators at over 20 million subscribers, has amassed more than 35,000,000 views since being posted on January 30. The video contained multiple ad spots when it was first published, but those ad placements disappeared only a couple of hours later. Initially, many fans assumed Dawson’s video was demonetized because of its focus on conspiracy theories, which is another issue YouTube has tried to tackle.

YouTube has been trying not to monetize or promote content that could be seen as potentially harmful, including conspiracy theories. The company has even announced a new push to recommend fewer conspiracy theory videos, which could explain why Dawson’s video was never shown on the site’s Trending Page.

Despite YouTube’s arguably good intentions with their new policies, creators with more established Youtube channels have subsequently paid the price. The advertisements that are on your Youtube videos are of great importance to their creators. Now that YouTube has started automating their monetization process, an increasing number of creators are losing that money due to a faulty system. Most of these YouTubers have already dedicated their futures to the platform, so they need to continue on with their YouTube career to make a living. Due to the lack of communication from YouTube to its creators, people’s incomes and livelihoods are being negatively affected to their frustration.

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