For the past few years, YouTube stars have been pulling in tons of money through views on the website. They have had to fight against false copyright claims, changing algorithms, inconsistent viewership, favoritism, and technology. Now, the platform is starting to withhold paycheck if they don't follow certain orders.
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Professional YouTubers get money because of advertising. Philip DeFranco, who has 4.5 million subscribers and has been producing content for over a decade, and a few others have said that YouTube is pulling ads from their videos thanks to a policy.
The policy has spread around the internet already, leaving people to wonder whether or not their favorite YouTubers will be able to carry on or whether they will have to change their whole personality. If you look on the latest video that Jenna Marbles, the female YouTuber with the most followers, tons of fans are panicking over the idea of her losing the ability to create content because she sometimes swears. Here are some of the other guidelines:
These guidelines are said to be hard to find and creators weren't even aware that they existed in some cases. They are also open to interpretation in so many ways. For example, who decides what is a controversial or sensitive subject? Could Gigi Gorgeous lose income on her videos where she discusses being transgender? Or what about Laci Green, who makes most of her money talking about "sensitive issues" and sexuality?
Of course, YouTube is free to do whatever they want because it is their platform, but if they want to make money from creators, they will have to be clear.
According to Gizmodo, DeFranco believes that "his videos were hit for covering news events like Chris Brown’s standoff with police." Other YouTubers to have advertising pulled deal with things like suicide and rape.
It is unknown if things are automated or if people go into the platform and actually watch the videos and flag them. Creators can appeal to have their videos re-monetized, but there is no system in place for that.
For their part, YouTube says that there hasn't been a change, they are just sending out emails about videos that won't make money.