YouTube Have Taken Steps to Prevent Inappropriate Content From Getting Ad Revenue

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YouTube are currently dealing with what is probably the worst backlash they've faced since the site first went live. A few months ago, hundreds of brands began pulling their advertising from the platform after learning that their ads were appearing in hateful and extremist videos. When YouTube took steps to mark some content as unsuitable for advertising to deal with this, numerous high profile YouTube stars took it very badly.

It's a rock and a hard place, YouTube cannot continue allowing hateful content to create ad revenue, but they also can't risk alienating their community. As such, they've updated their advertising guidelines in a bid to make it more clear which kinds of content are suitable for advertising and which are not.

Under these new guidelines, any content which is disparaging or discriminatory, incendiary, demeaning, or features a 'family entertainment character' doing something appropriate. That last one is very much brand-aimed, as it's perfectly acceptable to upload a parody video featuring a sweary Micky Mouse doppelgänger, but probably unwise to inadvertently stick a Disney ad right in the middle of it. In truth, all of the content marked as inappropriate for advertising in the new guidelines is still acceptable to be uploaded.

This is where things get contentious. While hateful, violent or extremist videos violate YouTube's terms and conditions, there are plenty of videos out there which remain active, despite controversial content. YouTube are walking on a razor's edge, as these new guidelines are barring any of that content from making money. This is why they've made sure that the guidelines are as clear, and fair, as they can be.

It'll be a while before we really know how effective these guidelines are, or how the community will react to them, but many will at least be happy to see YouTube making their position on the issue clear, rather than either completely ignoring it or overcompensating. In essence, YouTube are trying to broker a peace treaty between advertisers and publishers. Let's hope it sticks.

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