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YouTube cracks down on coronavirus videos

One YouTuber’s video was demonetized because he discussed a gaming conference that had been canceled amid the coronavirus.


Allyson Waller


YouTube creators are starting to see the repercussions of discussing the coronavirus on their respective channels.

The Verge reports creators are irked at YouTube’s decision to demonetize ads on videos particularly focused on the new coronavirus, COVID-19, even if the virus is simply mentioned in passing.

“We’re updating our guidelines to reflect the coronavirus outbreak as a sensitive event, and as such all videos will be demonetized until further notice,” said Tom Leung, YouTube’s director of product management, in a recent video.

Although Leung’s announcement came earlier last month, more creators are feeling the brunt of the platform’s decision as the virus gains strength in the United States.

Under YouTube’s advertising guidelines, videos about sensitive events such as a “global health crisis” will be flagged for “limited or no ads.”

“This policy applies even if the content is purely commentary or contains no graphic imagery,” according to YouTube’s guidelines.

If their videos are demonetized, users are able to appeal YouTube’s decision.

Joe Vargas, who runs the YouTube channel AngryJoeShow, tweeted that a video of his had to go through a “human review” in order to be considered for limited ads.

In the video Vargas, whose channel focuses on topics such as gaming and movies, briefly discussed the cancelation of the annual Game Developers Conference due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Vargas for comment concerning his video being demonetized.

Users have also called out YouTube for allowing news channels to continue to monetize on their coronavirus coverage.

“The same advertisers for CNN, Fox, NBC etc. all seem totally fine with it running ads during their wall to wall coverage and they also advertise here on Youtube,” YouTuber The Quartering tweeted.

The Verge reports that back in 2017, creators Casey Neistat and Philip DeFranco made videos related to the Las Vegas shooting that resulted in over 50 deaths. The creators intended to donate proceeds from the videos to charity, however, “YouTube demonetized the videos but continued to allow ads on videos about the subject from channels like Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

According to Verge, YouTube said its “policies are applied without bias,” and that “if a creator’s channel is dedicated to covering sensitive subjects, they should still be able to monetize while making videos about stories like the novel coronavirus.”


H/T the Verge

The Daily Dot