YouTube is now notifying publishers directly when removing monetization from videos that are not considered to be advertiser-friendly. This policy has been in place for some time, the difference now is that YouTube is being more transparent when taking action against videos that violate the policy.
Here are the policies that publishers must abide by in order to monetize their content with YouTube advertising. If you want to run YouTube ads, you must refrain from publishing:
- Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity or sexual humor
- Violence, include display of serious injury and event related to violent extremism
- Inappropriate language, including harassment, swearing, and vulgar language
- Promotion of drugs, regulated substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items
- Controversial or sensitive subject and event, including subject related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown.
As of August 31st, YouTube has been notifying content creators via email when videos have been identified as non-advertiser-friendly. Rather than giving a warning, YouTube is stripping ads and notifying publishers only after taking action. Included in the emails being sent out are instructions for how to begin an appeal process.
Some YouTube creators have already successfully appealed their demonetization claims. Others, such as YouTube celebrities Philip DeFranco and Jenna Marbles, have taken to social media to speak out against the advertising policies.
Producer just got off the phone with Youtube and it wasn't a mistake. Feels a little bit like getting stabbed in the back after 10 years.
— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) August 31, 2016
To play devil’s advocate here, YouTube is a privately owned company which sets its own rules, so it is well within the company’s rights to do this. On one hand, it’s understandable why publishers are upset. On the other hand, YouTube is protecting its advertisers from potentially being associated with controversial content.
It’s also important to keep in mind that this is not a new policy, YouTube is only changing the way in which it notifies publishers about violations. That means creators may have had ads stripped from their videos before without knowing about it. To learn if any of your videos have been demonetized, either recently or in the past, go into your video manager and look for yellow dollar signs.
If you have recently been affected by YouTube’s advertising policies, but believe you are following the rules, make sure to check your email for further details on how to possibly have the decision reversed. For more information, see YouTube’s guidelines for advertiser-friendly content.
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