Is this the END of YouTube?

YouTube has been blowing up lately with drama over "ad-friendly" content. I decided that I should take a stab at this topic, because it ties in so well with what I normally talk about in my videos and articles. Before we jump into my thoughts though, I think it would be beneficial to catch up on the story so far.

YouTubers Get Notified

The first stories that started coming out about this situation all focused on the fact that content creators on YouTube were receiving several notifications of their videos losing monetization status all at once. This led to the belief that YouTube had made some kind of change to their "ad-friendly" policies.

YouTube Responds

Then came a quick response from YouTube, which stated that nothing had changed in their policy. The changed that was made was in their notification system. They made it more reliable and created a more efficient appeal process. These notifications going out were just being made since the new system had been implemented.

Youtubers Get Angry

At this point, content creators all over YouTube start putting two and two together. YouTube had been revoking the monetization status of videos all along and not even letting the creators know! What made this even worse is that fact that several creators were able to successfully appeal their videos and regain monetization. So those videos should have never lost monetization in the first place, but since the creators had no way of knowing it has lost monetization, they were losing money all along.

YouTubers Notice Double Standards

As the drama progressed, many creators started talking to each other and communicating about who had been hit, who had been safe, who was denied their appeals, and who was able to regain monetization. Based on these conversations, it became apparent that there was no recognizable pattern or consistency to who was losing monetization or regaining it. Channels like
were losing monetization for merely talking about current events, while a traditionally foul-mouthed channel like
was reporting that they hadn't seen a single video lose monetization. Is it just a matter of time before other channels start seeing the hammer dropped, or is this a legitimate inconsistency in YouTube's standards?

When it comes to my thoughts on this matter, I'd like to start off by saying that agree with Philip Defranco when he says:

YouTube is, of course, well within their rights here.


There has always been censorship in the workplace. In the same way you can't mouth off to your boss on a regular basis and expect to continue receiving payment from that boss, YouTube has the right to determine the etiquette standards for getting paid on their platform. I am not saying that I believe their policies are right or proper for the current landscape of content creation, but they do have the right to set the standards however they see fit.

The one bit of the policy that I really can't get behind is the last bullet, which seems to target new channels. It states:

Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown.

If they stick to their guns and enforce this, it will effectively destroy every news channel on YouTube. Those creators will either be forced to find other forms of monetization, or they will have to start censoring their news. The first option leading to less content, due to the creator spending more time establishing other forms of monetizations. The second option leading to the channel becoming just as frustratingly unbalanced as the traditional news networks we all hate.

It really all comes down to risk versus reward. Those in charge of this policy over at YouTube had a conversation about the risk of losing advertisers and the risk of losing creators. Could they get away with relaxing their policies without advertisers running for the hills? Even if they did run for the hills, would that open up the platform for more open minded advertisers to work with the content creators? By creating more firm policies, would the platform become more attractive to advertisers in such a way that the reward would outweigh the risk of losing creators to other monetization platforms like Patreon?

It's all just theory until we see it in practice. Will this cause more and more creators to rely on sponsorships and Patreon pages? Will this result in massive loses for YouTube? Will people calm down and life move forward as if this never happened? It remains to be seen. One thing is clear though, YouTube is maturing. They are making difficult decisions in the interest of seeing the platform grow and evolve. We will just have to wait and see if they have made the right decision.