What is the Deal with Youtube’s Demonetization Problem?



Youtube and their demonetization policy explained using symbols.

Alyssa Pepito, Photojournalist

Youtube has been through many years of gaining improvements, while also going through ups and downs. Yet, for a while now, Youtube has been stuck in a blatantly discriminatory situation within their platform. It has been noticed that they have been demonetizing certain videos discussing topics which aren’t even a problem such as LGBT topics, deafness, disability, etc. which were unnecessarily taken down. Demonetization for Youtube specifically is where videos are observed to see if advertisers would be interested in it and if they are ad friendly or not. Then, if they did not meet the ad friendly guidelines, they would be taken down.

This demonetizing situation has been going on since 2012 and Youtube creators were unaware of this act until recently when Youtube finally decided to open their mouths about it. Even when looking at their video analytics, there was no way to find out whether their video was taken out of the pool of advertised upon content. As of now, Youtube now lets creators know if their video has been demonetized, allows them to request a manual review, and shows a notice by all demonetized videos (Complex). However, due to Youtube demonetizing almost everything, Youtubers are paying more attention to the problem and are not too happy about it.

For example, a popular Youtuber named Logan Paul’s videos are still being monetized while he gets away with creating videos with content about fake deaths, suicide, and other gross content especially not suitable for his young audience. Paul’s recent videos on his trip to Japan have been all the talk lately. In such videos, he is shown disrespecting Japan: the country, the culture, and the people. However, this is not what had people most angered and disturbed. During his trip he recorded himself in the Aokigahara Forest, also referred to as “the suicide forest,” where he discovers a man who had just committed suicide. Within his video he shows the man’s lifeless body while blurring out the face. This should have not met the ad friendly guidelines, right? Well, it passed and the video was not taken down. Logan Paul is still making money because he is a popular youtuber and Youtube knows if they take his videos down, no money will be earned.

Another example of unfair demonetization was from a deaf youtuber. In her video, she explained how Youtube demonetized many of her videos because she talks about deafness and disability in them. There is absolutely no logic to why her videos were demonetized, in which none of her videos include anything inappropriate or disturbing. Additionally, many small Youtubers are having their videos demonetized for no good reason either.

Youtube has really crossed a line with this problem. Even children are out here using Youtube while videos such as fake deaths, extremely disturbing pranks, etc. are swirling around Youtube, when they should be taken down and not make any revenue. Ashley Ko (11) explains how her younger sister watches Youtube and “some videos that are extremely inappropriate like to pop up on her feed, yet those people still get to make money and keep their videos posted.” In the future, this platform will not be a great place if Youtube continues to do what they are doing now. The problem of unnecessary demonetization needs to be fixed. They need to take a look at which videos include illegal, violent, hateful, inappropriate content and take those down instead.