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YouTube tightens ad rule enforcement, demonetizing numerous videos

by Sean P. Aune | September 1, 2016September 1, 2016 7:30 am PDT

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YouTube has begun a new initiative to tighten enforcement on which videos can be monetized and which can’t be.

Beginning late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, YouTube began removing monetizing from many videos from small to large content creators based on renewed enforcement of community guidelines. The list of “content that is considered inappropriate for advertising” includes:

  • Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor
  • Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism
  • Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity and vulgar language
  • Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items
  • Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown

The rules go on to state that YouTube “reserves the right to not monetize a video, as well as suspend monetization features on channels that repeatedly submit videos violating our policies.”

While some of the rules seem fairly common sense, the breadth of what YouTube feels falls under some of these rules is surprising some content creators under this new enforcement. One creator had monetization removed from his video talking about his battle with depression, and someone else discussing various skin products that have helped her overcome acne.

As we keep an eye on Twitter today, the list of what types of videos are being hit with monetization removal continues to grow, and we have no clue where it will stop. YouTube creators are going to have to take some time to adjust and create videos for the sole purpose of feeling out the boundaries of what is now allowed and what will earn them a penalty as YouTube is being fairly vague at the moment.

In an exchange between well-known YouTuber Philip DeFranco, the Team YouTube account said that this isn’t a policy change, but just a better notification system so that users can better appeal the removal.

Don’t be overly surprised if you discover some of your favorite YouTubers suddenly creating less content in the near future as they adjust to the new set of rules.


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Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...


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