I first came across the new YouTube rules and regulations from Alex Jones of all people. Not a fan, but because I have a google alert about YouTube he got snagged in my net so to speak. His post about the new Advertiser friendly Rules for content creators shows that Google is actually screwing up a good bit.
Let’s start at the beginning, YouTube which is owned by Google, er Alphabet. decided that they, meaning YouTube, are not getting enough advertisers. I am not sure if they are afraid they are going to go broke or what, but they need more advertisers. In doing so YouTube has created Advertiser Friendly Guidelines.
What’s in the Box?!?
To start with YouTube points out that this is more Google’s guidelines then they are theirs. Yet, either way, the way Goog… YouTube is listing the problem areas out there are some very vague and easily abused rules. The following rules are as follows
- 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
If you violate any of these rules then your video in question will be demonized. In other words, you will not get any money for the ads that are being shown in the pre-roll. Let’s talk about these five categories of Thou Shall Nots.
Sexually Suggestive content
This is going to take out most video games these days. Whether you are showing how you can get a lot of coins from God of War, or showing a funny glitch in Witcher 3. Lots of sexual content there. Now I didn’t know that there was nudity allowed on YouTube, partial or otherwise. So, I did a search for Naked Chicks and sure enough, there were bare breasts and more in plain sight. So I learned something today.
Sexually Suggestive content is open for interpretation. Is it up to someone complaining or is there going to be a bot? Like the DMCA bot that goes around taking down videos that have anything that sounds remotely copyrightable. Most comedians these days will not be able to monetize their stuff on YouTube. This is because often their jokes have some time of crude sexual humor in it. Youtube was one place comedians were able to go to share their acts. Especially since they are not able to do shows on College campuses anymore unless they censor themselves.
Well, this is going to cut out about 50% of all the videos. Americas Funniest home videos were often men having violent acts directed to their crotches. So channels like the FailArmy and other similar Fail channels are going to be affected. This is because most falls were people trying something stupid. Thinking they could back flip off a coke machine. (This is painful. So if you want to watch you can follow the link.)
But I understand this is more angled at keeping Isis from making money for burning another pilot or something as horrific as that.
Does anybody use appropriate language anymore? Listing to my kid’s music, I would almost think not. Granted I may be just the old grumpy guy hollering at kids to get off their lawn but I do welcome this rule a little. Yet, again what is inappropriate language? You have some atheists who would find offense with the word Jesus. Then there are folks who have no problem with an F-bomb or two being dropped. Offensive language is a little relative to the person.
Again the one group that is often popular on YouTube are the comedians. I don’t know very many clean comedy routines. So The Comedy category alone would take a massive hit. So would YouTube just use the 7 words you can’t say on TV?
This section is the big one though the highest paid YouTuber is known for his profane words. I will be getting to Pewdiepie here shortly. So let’s keep looking at the list of Thou Shall Nots
The promotion of drugs and paraphernalia
Again, this is one that I am actually OK with but that is me. Yet for a while, I use to love watching people getting high on Salvia and try to figure out what exactly they were saying. It does make some pretty entertaining moments when you are bored.
Now, I understand that glorifying drug use isn’t a good stance to have. The fact it often perpetuates wrong information about that drug, and could encourage people to try more dangerous drugs. There is the whole pot culture and with states like Colorado and Washington that have legalized recreational use, it is no more bad form than say Alcohol. Which is a drug? So are Beer companies going to be affected? Many in today’s society believe that sugar is a drug that is as addictive as cocaine. Does this mean that candy companies and food bloggers get demonetized because that would be glorifying a drug?
Wow, talk about leaving a whole category open. With many in today’s colleges getting butt hurt over the most trivial things, I could now be considered offensive just for putting my ugly mug on YouTube. So what is controversial? This is subject to interpretation and is that Alex Jones was getting at in his blog post talking about YouTube censoring.
Controversy is also how ideas are formed. Open discussions and free sharing of ideas are how new lines of thought are brought on. Killing controversy lines of thought is never the answer. If we didn’t talk about controversial topics there wouldn’t be gay marriage.
Controversy often creates offense in people. Things that are found offensive in today’s culture range across the board. Somebody is going to be offended by something. In fact, if I wanted to I could be offended by the new Advertising friendly rules. So, in that case, that means that Google and YouTube are now violating their own rules and can’t make any money.
I can see how you want to keep things on a nice even keel. Too bad that concept was thrown out when all kids started getting participation trophies.
So what does all of this mean?
As a whole, this can be a great example of why you do not build your house on rented land. Because at any time, the company that owns that domain can change the rules and you are no longer able to make a living.
I will forever be a proponent of you need your own domain. One that allows for you to monetize however you want. The options are only limited by your imagination. While With this particular instance you have people like Pewdiepie who is making, at this moment 4 million dollars off of YouTube’s revenue share.
Pewdiepie is a YouTuber who is known for playing video games. As he plays, he often will have a humorous commentary about what he is seeing. This commentary contains several swear words. So Instantly there are about 3 out of the 5 Thou Shall Not’s that he violates in each of his videos.
In the following video, Pewdiepie is talking about YouTube demonetizing his channel and his reactions to losing a 4 million dollar a year revenue stream. Therefore is goes without saying isn’t happy and uses several cuss words. So Don’t play this at top volume at your office.
There is a point in this that I am torn. Part of me wants to think that if the big YouTube stars leave and go to their own websites and use Vimeo as video hosting or maybe go to say use Twitter’s 70/30 Rev share. YouTube will quickly realize they don’t have much without their content creators and will change their policy back.
While another part of me thinks that YouTube is doing this just so that they are able to get more of the ad money and will rely on the other people who are doing instructional videos. This will encourage more people to post to YouTube.
Either way, I think we will see some big changes in the next year for youtube.Maybe Pewdiepie will team up with Twitch and he will host his shows there. and will get a portion of Amazons advertising. Either way, I don’t see Pewdiepie going quietly into the night.
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