Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer


Recently, YouTube creators across a variety of genres noticed that they were getting alerts that certain videos they had made were being demonetized, or already had been. Many people have already heard about this, but what exactly does it all mean?
Demonetization of Youtube videos is scary, because ads will no longer be put on the sides of certain videos or before the video airs. “Hooray!” I hear most of you saying, no more  Geico commercials before you get to click the skip button to watch your next cat video. Well, hold the phone, because cat videos will still have ads, and because this is a lot more serious than it first sounds.
Many YouTube creators, especially the more popular ones (channels running between 1 million subs or more), make their living from creating these videos. YouTube pays them for all the traffic they get on their videos, which means that taking away these ads puts a lot of channels at risk of losing their jobs.
Here’s where things get interesting; the videos that are being demonetized are only those fitting a few categories. The big two are intense vulgarity, and controversial topics. So while this might mean that some entertainment channels might have to bring down their language to a more pg-13 level, there’s a destructive side effect.
There are a number of political YouTube channels that might be effected by this. Channels that cover controversial news, which might not always be family friendly, and have done so to keep people informed. This means that these news channels will lose a majority of funding from YouTube, since their videos can be controversial by nature.
Now, there is a way to fight this through YouTube, and there are a number of stories where people have gotten their videos monetized again. The only issue with this is that a majority of a videos traffic comes within the first few days of a videos life, which is longer than the rebuking process. This means that even if they get their videos through the process, they can lose up to 80% of the income they would have gained.
There is a bigger issue, though. This a form of censorship by YouTube. They are clearly stating that they don’t want to fund videos with controversial topics, or have their ads be associated with controversial topics.
Personally, I don’t believe that people relate ads to YouTube videos. This is YouTube not only censoring content, but possibly putting certain people out of a job. Though I think the vast majority of entertainment channels will be fine with these changes, we can’t ignore what might happen to the news channels. So next time you don’t have to wait through a Pepsi commercial or click off a cereal pop-up at the bottom of your screen, know that moment you save might be damaging the quality of entertainment and information you receive.

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