As all YouTube partners know, YouTube is constantly changing their TOS regulating what types of videos can and cannot get monetized. I’ll be honest- most gun channel guys have felt our days have been numbered ever since Google banned all forms of weapons advertising after Sandy Hook.
An outright ban on weapons-related content might have finally come, but it sure has caught up a lot of other channels in the process. Basically, YouTube’s new TOS bans videos that include any “controversial or sensitive subject.” Think about that for a moment… What subject isn’t controversial or sensitive to someone out there in the wide world of the web?
In an extremely surprising move, YouTube has already started de-monetizing videos at some of the most popular channels, including Philly D (Philip DeFranco) and several other channels with subscribers well into the millions. In fact, it seems that enforcement is moving from the top down, with smaller channels finding themselves untouched for now but knowing what’s coming because their content is basically the same as what is already being banned. Profanity and certain tags seem to be targeted right now, even when the words are actually newsworthy (i.e., talking about someone convicted of rape).
YouTube argues that this new enforcement is required to make the network more appealing to advertisers… who are vying for the eyes of viewers who have zero problem with the content being banned. Furthermore, if the most popular creators cannot make the videos that made them popular, viewers will leave YouTube altogether.
That said, unlike with other unannounced enforcement changes, YouTube is not removing the videos or banning the channels. However, given that their TOS regarding paid product placement specifically bans accepting payment to feature products already banned for advertising on Google, it will be interesting to see how full time creators thread the needle on this.
The main concern is that YouTube has now created such a broad and subjective definition of what is prohibited that no one will ever be able to confidently create a video without fear that it will someday be flagged and then de-monetized… and that’s for channels that have nothing to do with guns. You can imagine the discussions going on with gun channels right now as we can see the writing on the wall more clearly than ever before.
#YouTubePartyIsOver is now one of the top trending hashtags, showing that viewers are as upset about the impact this is going to have as are the creators themselves. If this upsets you as well, be sure to follow your favorite gun channels at Full30.com, and visit YouTube’s Facebook page to let them know how you feel. It’s already a bloodbath over there, but don’t let that stop you from joining a good old fashioned pile-on.