In the wake of YouTube’s decision to temporarily suspend the ads on Logan Paul’s channel for his “recent pattern of behavior,” the social media site issued a clarification on how it will respond to these kinds of problems in the future.
In its blog, YouTube wrote:
Recently, we faced situations where the egregious actions of a handful of YouTubers harmed the reputation of the broader creator community among advertisers, the media industry and most importantly, the general public. In light of this behavior—and our commitment to tighten our policies and communicate them more quickly and transparently—we’re introducing new consequences to apply in the rare event when one creator’s actions harm the entire community.
When one creator does something particularly blatant—like conducts a heinous prank where people are traumatized, promotes violence or hate toward a group, demonstrates cruelty, or sensationalizes the pain of others in an attempt to gain views or subscribers—it can cause lasting damage to the community, including viewers, creators and the outside world. That damage can have real-world consequences not only to users, but also to other creators, leading to missed creative opportunities, lost revenue and serious harm to your livelihoods. That’s why it’s critical to ensure that the actions of a few don’t impact the 99.9 percent of you who use your channels to connect with your fans or build thriving businesses.
Most recently, YouTube suspended Paul’s ad revenue, and it shut down the channel of ItzArya after he was accused of faking acid attacks in London by throwing water on unsuspecting strangers.
YouTube’s solution is three-fold.
- YouTube could remove a channel from the Google Preferred program, causing the creator a huge loss in their revenue. YouTube did this with Paul after he posted his infamous Japanese “suicide forest” video.
- The website might suspend all the ads on a creator’s page, again hindering their ability to earn revenue. YouTube did this with Paul after he posted a video of him tasing a dead rat. This could also cause the creator to lose access to the YouTube Partner program.
- YouTube could “remove a channel’s eligibility to be recommended on YouTube, such as appearing on our home page, trending tab or watch next.” That seemingly would cause a large loss in the ability to earn page views.
In the blog post, YouTube said its past responses to problematic behavior has been too slow and narrow. It also is aware that some are worried that YouTube is drawing closer to a line that involves censorship and punishing creators simply for the views they display.
Wrote YouTube: “We believe strongly in the freedom of expression and we know that the overwhelming majority of you follow the guidelines and understand that you’re part of a large, influential, and interconnected community. But we also know that we have a responsibility to protect the entire community of creators, viewers, and advertisers from these rare but often damaging situations. We expect to issue these new consequences only in a rare handful of egregious cases, but hope they will help us prevent the actions of a few from harming the broader community.”