Not even the world’s most famous Fortnite player can escape the clutches of YouTube’s demonetization policies. At least temporarily.
Ninja, who has more than 21.5 million YouTube subscribers and another 13.5 million followers on his Twitch channel, tweeted Monday night that YouTube had demonetized one of his Fortnite videos for being too “bloody” and gory. Wrote Ninja, “Dude lol how is that possible?”
YouTube flagged my fortnite video as bloody and gorey and got demonetized… my… fortnite video…. dude lol how is that possible.— Ninja (@Ninja) February 26, 2019
It’s possible because YouTube has a policy on “violent or graphic content.” According to the platform, “Violent or gory content intended to shock or disgust viewers, or content encouraging others to commit violent acts are not allowed on YouTube.”
If a YouTube user violates that policy for the first time, they’re sent a warning and their content will be removed. If they’re a repeat offender, though, YouTube will issue a strike against the channel, the first step toward possibly deleting the channel.
Of course, that doesn’t usually apply to Fortnite and other gaming videos.
It seems that Ninja’s issue has already been resolved, but one Twitter user wondered what would have happened if the user whose video had been demonetized wasn’t one of the most famous gamers in the world.
Wrote @Imagine_V2: “Imagine if it wasn’t Ninja. Someone who didn’t have this much pull could be screwed.”
YouTube, meanwhile, is facing controversy from many different directions. Last week, a YouTuber uncovered a “softcore pedophile ring” that had advertisers sprinting for the exits while giving trolls a new way to potentially harm content creators. A mother discovered self-harm videos on the YouTube Kids app. Meanwhile, YouTubers constantly reveal that their ad revenue has been unfairly taken, while YouTube’s youngest users and viewers are constantly being exploited.
Luckily for Ninja, it seems as though his demonetized video was a small blip that was quickly fixed. But another Twitter user made a good point, responding to Ninja’s initial tweet by writing, “Hey Welcome to YouTube enjoy your stay where your content can be taken down, taken from you by anyone for any reason humanly possible no matter what.”
Update 12:33pm CT, Feb. 26: Ryan Wyatt, the head of gaming at YouTube, told Ninja on Twitter that his video never stopped making money. Wyatt wrote on Tuesday, “FYI—I looked into it. It was never at any point demonetized. I think you just saw the reviewer leaving comments on the video, but the video was never actually demonetized at any point.”