YouTube Censors Its Creators



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Malieka Khan, Photojournalist

 YouTube’s slogan is, “Broadcast Yourself,” however, the changes and enforcement of certain rules these past few weeks has proven the video sharing site may not be as simple and free as the slogan may lead you to believe. Recently, YouTube has begun to strictly enforce seven new rules, causing an uproar within the community and its creators. Rules such as, “No controversial or sensitive subjects and events can be spoken about, even if graphic imagery is not shown,” have caused major effects through various channels on YouTube. Many channels depend and are based on reporting the news as well as discussing political and current events, such as Philip DeFranco and TheVlogBrothers. These channels are widely being affected and shut down by this rule alone. In addition to not allowing controversial content on YouTube, inappropriate language has also been forbidden. An immense amount of video creators use certain language which are against these terms of service, to the point where many are losing money due to demonetization from these new rules. Demonetization has become a major issue on the site since these terms have become more strictly enforced. YouTubers, people who earn a living off their online video sketches and songs uploaded onto YouTube, earn this money based on advertisements before and during their video. However, when a video becomes demonetized, it means that these YouTubers can no longer contain ads on their videos, therefore they earn no money. Consequently, unless these creators convert the topics of their videos and channels, or censor themselves, whether by language or content, they no longer have a job  or any means to earn money. However, the major issue surrounding these terms is how vague and open to interpretation they can become. To one viewer a sensitive topic could be completely different from another viewer’s perspective, therefore YouTubers can not fully stay within the guidelines, since they happen to be so skewed. Polly Bowman (9) frequently watches YouTube and figures, “By changing the way some creators make their videos, it is making an unfair platform for viewers of their channel.” Polly is elaborating on the idea that many viewers love and enjoy the content of their favorite creators the way it had been all these years, and by censoring these creators YouTube is changing the very content these viewers have grown to love. Yet if their content does not change, in some cases these YouTubers will cease to earn money or have a job. Vagueness and censorship could lead to many skewed outcomes on the YouTube, as well as many creators, after years of their keeping their regular loved content, maintaining completely changed channels.