April 5, 2018

I thought I'd read "demonization," but what YouTube does to video creators they don't like is "demonetization."

I'm reading a NYT article that looks at the YouTube policy that purportedly drove Nasim Aghdam to enter the YouTube headquarters, shoot 3 people, cause a major panic, and then murder herself.

It is, we're told, "likely" that Aghdam's problem with YouTube "had to do with a concept called 'demonetization'":
In response to pressure from advertisers and consumers, YouTube has been pulling ads from thousands of videos that it decides do not meet its standards for content.....

“My Revenue For 300,000 Views Is $0.10?????” Ms. Aghdam wrote on her website, while calling YouTube “a dictatorship.” “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!”

Ms. Aghdam’s complaints echoed what a wide range of YouTube posters — from self-described animal rights activists like her to right-wing political provocateurs — have increasingly been protesting over the last year.....

When YouTube was started in 2005, it took a hands-off approach to much of what was posted, so long as the content was not overly violent or sexual. ... But a series of news reports revealed big brands’ ads running alongside extremist, racist and other hateful videos, leading some companies to pull their money from the site. YouTube has since clamped down and pulled ads from thousands of controversial videos....

When YouTube pulls ads, it tells creators which videos violated the standards, though it doesn’t elaborate very much on what they did wrong....
I can understand how that feels. I have Google "AdSense" ads on this blog, and I often get bland corporate messages like this (click to enlarge):

So... what did I do? Where did I cross them? All I'm told is that the last 24 hours, "New violations were detected." What were the alleged violations? What is the rule I violated? What is the detection process? Is it working accurately? Do I have any recourse? None of those questions are answered, though there is a link to a "Help Center" and to the "AdSense Program Policies." I could read those policies and guess what I might have done to offend them, and I'm sure that if I were more dependent on the ad income and more willing to adjust my speech to avoid losing money I would read them.

I just assume somebody or some machine detected a violation of the "Content policies":
Publishers may not place AdSense code on pages with content that violates any of our content policies. Some examples include content that is adult, shocking, or advocates racial intolerance. Please see our prohibited content article for more information.
I'm sure any page of this blog could be deemed a violation if the faceless authorities at Google wanted to demonize/demonetize me. If I were less lucid (and more financially needy), I might feel persecuted and perhaps hopelessly blocked.

Look at this list at the "Prohibited content" page:
Adult content
Dangerous or derogatory content
Recreational drugs and drug-related content
Alcohol-related content
Tobacco-related content
Gambling and games-related content
Healthcare-related content
Hacking and cracking content
Pages that offer compensation programs
Misrepresentative content
Shocking content
Weapon-related content
Content that enables dishonest behavior
Illegal content
Each one of the things on that list is a link, and there's much more detail. It's as if making money with  this program has become a religion, with elaborate sins, and I'm supposed to continually search my soul and ask how have I offended thee, O Lord?

Almighty Google, Father of our AdSense, Monetizer of all things, Judge of all bloggers: I acknowledge and bewail my manifold sins and wickedness, Which I, from time to time, most grievously have committed, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against me...

The judgment comes down: "ad serving has been restricted or disabled on pages where these violations of the AdSense Program Policies were found." Which pages? Which violations? "To resolve the issues, you can either remove the violating content and request a review, or remove the ad code from the violating pages." Which pages are the violating pages? What did I do? Misrepresent something? Say the wrong thing about health care? Talk about a weapon?! Shock somebody? Mention a glass of wine? Smoke?!!



It's kind of a joke to me, but only because I'm old and financially and mentally secure. But Google and YouTube have millions of users — all kinds of people, and I know the corporate overlord needs to get and keep advertisers in the program, but the creators of the content matter and freedom of speech matters. It doesn't excuse crimes to say that Google and YouTube ought not alienate and antagonize these people. (It doesn't excuse school-shooting murders to say that more attention to the problem of bullying outsiders might have averted the tragedy.)

I assume the policy I keep inadvertently violating is the one about "Shocking content"
What's the policy?

We want to be sensitive to our advertisers and users. 
For this reason Google ads may not be placed on pages that display shocking content. Examples include but are not limited to:
  • Content containing gruesome, graphic or disgusting accounts or imagery (e.g., blood, guts, gore, sexual fluids, human or animal waste, crime scene or accident photos)
  • Content depicting acts of violence (e.g., accounts or images of shootings, explosions, or bombings; execution videos; violent acts committed against animals)
  • Content with significant obscene or profane language (swear or curse words)
Oh, for fuck's sake.

UPDATE: At 11:20 AM the day of this post, I got a message just like what you see above, telling me I'd committed a violation in the past 24 hours. I'm just going to guess it's my joke that ends this post. Really, fuck them.

117 comments:

Leslie Graves said...

If Mark Zuckerberg ran YouTube, he would tell the reporters at the NYT that having mulled this over, what he’s going to do is appoint a Supreme Court-like entity to resolve disputes. Then, once he had done that, when you got another de-monetization notice, you could appeal to that body.

Ralph L said...

If they had humans pulling the ads instead of computer algorithms, would they be more open to litigation over not following their own rules?

Now I Know! said...

Well, that’s capitalism for you.

Hagar said...

Manson family photo and now this.
My oh my!

exhelodrvr1 said...

How is the bunch of bitches doing this morning?

AllenS said...

Google has defined policies, and if you don't like them, then they have others. I hope that helped.

Now I Know! said...

They place a higher value on not offending advertisers who pay them money than they do on providing you a free speech platform where you can make money. And that surprises you why?

tcrosse said...

Look out kid
It's somethin' you did
God knows when
But you're doing it again

Ann Althouse said...

"And that surprises you why?"

Question assumes a fact not in evidence.

dda6ga dda6ga said...

It is rumored that you tube uses "The Lives of Others" as a training film.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lives_of_Others

Expat(ish) said...

Bless their hearts, they thought they could make a business on top of someone else's business.

It is *damn* hard to manage a channel business, even if you are well run company.

Twitter, facebook, etc are not well run businesses.

Amazon, an extremely well run business, has had to make multiple runs at the channel business over the years. I ran a channel based company for a year and it was darn hard.

I have a lot of sympathy for people dependent on making money downstream of YouTube/etc. But they shouldn't be surprised when bad stuff happens.

-XC

Ann Althouse said...

@tcrosse

Yeah, exactly.

And the consequence of making people feel like that is... ??? Depends on the person. Some people just go subterranean and live like that. Some people fuss over trying to do everything right and worry all the time that they might offend. Some people go nuts and want to kill themselves, perhaps on the premises of their tormenter if they can find that entity.

rhhardin said...

Advertisers don't understand complaint avalanches. They're fake.

That starts the insanity chain.

David Docetad said...

Ann, it's a cigar, not a cigarette. Use your teeth.

Ralph L said...

I presume they use demonetization to Save the Children from bad stuff, not to save their advertisers' blushes.

sparrow said...

I get some of their reasons but why is Healthcare-related content an issue? They can be as arbitrary as they want and we're effectively powerless.

gspencer said...

The lefty, gun-toting loon from Iran complained about lots of things, capitalism among them. So when she failed to get money from her content, she complained and complained. Some people are never satisfied.

Martin said...

While I am sure it is more complicated than this, it seems to me that YouTube (not to mention Twitter and FB) would make this all a whole lot better by simply allowing anything that is not on its face illegal or pretty clearly tortious--incitement (including terror recruitment that was a big thing ca. 2015), slander of an individual or corporate entity, etc. They have been enforcing political correctness and some strange, relate concept of "politeness" with no clear or even less-than-clear rues or bounds, and refusing to tell people the reasoning behind their actions.

They should just flag items that appear likely to not be protected speech, which can be referred to attorneys or others who are well-versed in First Amendment/speech rules, and leave everything else alone. The proper response to error or bad arguments is the truth and good arguments, and as an open forum they can encourage people who find something offensive to respond (on their platform).

They have a good thing going for themselves, but they seem intent on killing it.

rhhardin said...

Tortious - there goes turtle videos.

Scott said...

I think "the law" (code, precedent, whatever) regarding Google and Facebook needs to change. Obviously I'm not a lawyer, but way in the past as an undergraduate I took two courses in mass communication law. And I seem to recall that there were some significant First Amendment cases regarding shopping centers as places of public accommodation. They cover large areas and admit the public at large to come and go as they please. In that place, people may have some First Amendment rights that the shopping center owner cannot trample -- maybe wearing a tee shirt for a political candidate or something. Handing out leaflets? I dunno. But some rights.

Google and Facebook provide massive common spaces where millions of people gather. Shopping centers for social interaction. And, they have no substitute spaces. In a free and open society, shouldn't access to these common spaces be subject to some First Amendment rights?

(I think the way Google took an arbitrary shit on Althouse years back by taking her Blogger offline was criminal. I was infuriated. If Althouse was a bank, the auditors would be red flagging her for subjecting so much of her capital to the whims of Google.)

The Germans Have A Word For That. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Germans Have A Word For That. said...

First they get you to give them your Privacy.

Then they get you to give up your Free Speech.

They don't even wait. And when they're Google, you let them do it, they can do anything... grab you by the Prohibited Content.

That quote is like a comment Swiss-Army knife.

You need it to be a knife? Sure.

You need it to be a screwdriver? No problem.

But where it really comes in handy is when you need it as a corkscrew.

The Germans have a word for this.

Mike said...

So when we discuss AR-15s or drop an F-bomb we offend Google? But are they still hosting ISIS videos? How about Gaza-theatre videos? Al Queda? Just curious, of course, I'm not going to search for those things. Big Brother might be watching.

How Orwellian!

Meanwhile "seven dirty words" author George Carlin is spinning in his grave so fast you can hear the hum when you drive by the cemetery.

Leland said...

And when they demonetize, the content producer gets nothing, but they, YouTube/Google/Alphabet continues to make their cut, now the producers cut as well. They are incentivized to demonetize as many content producers as possible.

Mike said...

I'd love to see a class-action suit by legit Blog or Video content makers like you who band together and force transparency and dialogue on Google and their properties. Their policies seem arbitrary and they won't be able to hide behind "it was the algorithm that did it!" forever. Right?

AllenS said...

I have a question. Where in the hell did that cigar come from? Is that a real cigar?

Martin said...

Their list of no-no's. numbered:

1 Adult content
2 Dangerous or derogatory content
3 Recreational drugs and drug-related content
4 Alcohol-related content
5 Tobacco-related content
6 Gambling and games-related content
7 Healthcare-related content
8 Hacking and cracking content
9 Pages that offer compensation programs
10 Misrepresentative content
11 Shocking content
12 Weapon-related content
13 Content that enables dishonest behavior
14 Illegal content

They might consider a separate, "adult" platform, maybe with a subscription fee charged to a credit card for both revenue and age verification, for 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12.

"2 Dangerous or derogatory"--if it isn't illegal or tortious, leave it alone.

"7 Healthcare and 8 Hacking," Leave them alone, maybe with a disclaimer that YouTube does not endorse this content, but don't block or demonetize it.

"9 Compensation," well, decide if you are a platform for other businesses o not, then be consistent.

"10 Misrepresentative" - if it isn't libelous, leave it alone, encourage people to respond to bad speech with better speech

"11 Shocking" -- pretty vague, maybe label it when it appears in a sidebar, and don't offer it up (but still allow it, with warning)--people don't have to click through

"13 content that enables dishonest behavior"--if it is an invitation to criminal activity, ban it, otherwise leave it alone.

"14 Illigal" --if it is clearly illegal, ban it and say so.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

sounds like "nitecruzer' got a promotion - and a huge hat tip to tcrosse for the perfect Dylan quote

Scott said...

Congress should empower the Federal Trade Commission to regulate monetization of voluntarily submitted content. For starters, YouTube should publish its hit thresholds and payment rates and apply them to all contributors. Sort of like they way the music industry handles royalties for public performance.

tcrosse said...

O my Google, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my Google, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.

The Germans Have A Word For That. said...

Demonetize = Demonize.

Pleased to meet you. Can you guess my name?

The Germans have a word for this.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I know the corporate overlord needs to get and keep advertisers in the program, but the creators of the content matter and freedom of speech matters.

I don't see how this is a free speech issue. This is not a case of YouTube refusing to host the content. It is not a case of search engines refusing to return relevant content in its search results. The speaker is being allowed to speak. All that is happening is that YouTube is honoring the wishes of the advertisers as to what type of content the advertiser's ads will be pared with.

You have a right to free speech. You do not have a right to get paid for speech that nobody wants to pay for.

Maybe this is an opportunity for someone to start a rival service to compete with AdSense. Find advertisers who don't mind ( or even prefer ) having their ads paired with controversial content, and pair them up with content producers who produce such content.

Phil 3:14 said...

My Althouse challenge:

I challenge Professor Ann Althouse to create and publish a post on her blog that contains at least one item from each of the items on the Google Adshare "Prohibited content" list.

(This could be your George Carlin moment.)

Michael K said...

Insty had a post the other day that this behavior by Facebook and Google were causing a return to blogs as a medium.

Mike said...

And when they demonetize, the content producer gets nothing, but they, YouTube/Google/Alphabet continues to make their cut, now the producers cut as well. They are incentivized to demonetize as many content producers as possible.

This is not how an advertising model works. When YouTube DEmonetizes an account YouTube can no longer place ads there and therefore don't get "a cut" because there is no ad placement to take one from.

iowan2 said...

I understand its slow, and cumbersome, but the free market will handle these problems, as youtube and FB etal abuse their customers, new businesses will sprout up to fill the need. I dont like WAPO so I find other content. I never watch CNN, and only watch MSNBC from time to time to remind my self how stupid, people on the coasts think I am.

Scott said...

You have a right to free speech. You do not have a right to get paid for speech that nobody wants to pay for.

YouTube isn't nobody. Ad revenue is fungible. YouTube's decisions are arbitrary and opaque.

Record companies' opacity regarding their royalty accounting for public performance resulted in a federal mandate forcing the accounting and royalty collection to be done by third parties, and at published rates. YouTube should be subject to the same regulation, if only to keep animal rights vegans from shooting up their staff.

Ralph L said...

Is that a real cigar?

Sometimes.

buwaya said...

This has been going on for about two years now, the various crackdowns on Youtube started in earnest about then.

One of the early prime cases was when they removed the grandfatherly Hickock45 (a "kinder, gentler" gun channel) for a few days, for unspecified reasons.

Its snowballed from there.

Scott said...

@Ralph L.: I get it. You're one funny guy.

Ralph L said...

Glut free, but not gluten free.

The Germans Have A Word For That. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

A few days ago we discussed the crap outta Orwellian. Is it time to likewise dissect Kafkaesque ?

Mike said...

To continue my 8:27 comment, the other option (like that which afflicted the shooter) is to restrict ad placement so that ad compensation slows to a trickle. Reducing ad placement is as effective as denying it if someone has grown dependent on the income stream.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I said...

You have a right to free speech. You do not have a right to get paid for speech that nobody wants to pay for.

Scott said...

YouTube isn't nobody.

I'll rephrase. You do not have a right to be paid by somebody for speech which that somebody does not want to pay for.

Ad revenue is fungible.

True. But an absence of revenue is not. AdSense is not placing ads on the objectionable content, so there is no revenue to be funged.

YouTube's decisions are arbitrary and opaque.

Yes. So are most of mine. Your point?

Kevin said...

What were the alleged violations? What is the rule I violated? What is the detection process? Is it working accurately?

This is the heart of the matter, is it not? Either you want to have black and white lines, which are clearly explained, and which people can adhere to without fear of being penalized. And if you do, what might be offensive but is officially within the line is to be tolerated.

Or you want hazy guidelines which allow you to cite people for whatever they deem offensive at any point of the day, such that the line of good and bad constantly changes and snakes around like a gerrymandered Congressional district. This is how you act if you want to stay on the right side of the PC police at all times.

In today's progressive culture, you have to go Orwell if you want to be sure not to run afoul of the offensiveness police. The lines cannot be clear, and you continually send out messages noting unenumerated offenses to keep people in a perpetual state of panic.

EDH said...

That photo of Althouse puffing a cigar is now part of my "highlight reel".

Quaestor said...

Is it time to move the Althouse blog to Pornhub?

tim in vermont said...

That photo of Althouse puffing a cigar is now part of my “highlight reel".

That was the funniest bit that Ray Ramano ever did.

buwaya said...

The Iranian lady in question was getting decent viewership by Youtube standards, and those were legit advertising eyeballs.

Heck, they even tried to dump Pewdiepie (Felix Kjellberg), who gets more eyeballs per video than all of cable news combined.
No, really, check it out. Who are people really watching?

Its about something more than advertising $

Youtube is a subsidized operation owned by Google.

tim in vermont said...

I listen to French Language radio from time to time when I am around Quebec, and the other day I heard an ad for PornHub. Funnier still, it was right before the ad “un huit cent GOT JUNK.”

Static Ping said...

One of the main problems of demonetization, besides the blatant political correctness, is the arbitrary rulings. One historical channel I watch reported that they uploaded one of their standard videos in the high quality format and it was demonetized. They could not figure out why since it was really no different than their prior ones which passed muster. YouTube was not helpful in this regard. So they uploaded the video again in the lower quality format and this breezed through. It was the exact same content.

YouTube made itself out to be the default platform for independent content producers, encouraging them all to join their community. And once they had that near monopoly and the content - for free! - then they started attacking the content producers that they did not like. It is a long game bait and switch.

tcrosse said...

Althouse was being Churchillian.

Mike said...

Never heard the word "bewail" before. Day is off to a great start. Thank you Althouse.

tim in vermont said...

And when they demonetize, the content producer gets nothing, but they, YouTube/Google/Alphabet continues to make their cut, now the producers cut as well.

You know who else gets nothing? The people who built the networks that YouTube and Google/Alphabet cram more and more content onto increasing Alphabet’s revenue, at least that’s what they want to do by getting the politicians in their pockets like Obama to ram through “Net Neutrality”. while whipping up a bunch of noise among the easily duped.

Chuck said...

Props to Althouse, and many thanks for aggregating the best of these tech-overlord stories. I love her commentary on these stories.

And thanks to God, for aligning the usual media powers (who hate Trump) with an anti-Facebook theme (because somehow, Facebook allowed Trump to win; Lulz).

My faith in the douchebaggery of the millennial generation is rarely let down.

Curious George said...

"Smoke?!!"

You may be wishing that Photoshop was never invented.

Danno said...

The only thing safe on Youtube is apparently more cat videos.

buwaya said...

Imagine where the censorship regime would be at now, absent Trump.
Backed by the full force of the government hand-in glove with the tech monopolies.

rehajm said...

And now some gratuitous pictures of penises to annoy the censors...

rehajm said...

One of the main problems of demonetization, besides the blatant political correctness, is the arbitrary rulings

Agreed.

Althouse has arbitrary rulings- same diff. It's cool when you get to make the rules.

mockturtle said...

Those of us with Firefox Adblock never see their stupid ads, anyway. But, yeah, great post, Ann! Google as God with more than ten commandments!

mockturtle said...

Imagine where the censorship regime would be at now, absent Trump.
Backed by the full force of the government hand-in glove with the tech monopolies.


Scary thought, buwaya!

Big Mike said...

@Curious, I was thinking the same thing. Dirty-minded bastards we are.

Quayle said...

We gave them our heart,
But they wanted our souls.

But don't think twice, it’s all right.

Birches said...

YouTube is dumb, but they aren't the only dumb ones here. The activists who are searching out these ads running before provocative content are idiots and the companies who freak out about it are also idiots. You tube ads are filler; I can't imagine anyone thinking they were an endorsement.

buwaya said...

Interesting question about the "advertisers" and their preferences.
It's very analogous to the advertiser boycott situation with respect to, say, Rush Limbaugh.
In the beginning Limbaugh had few advertiser issues.
He delivered not just a large audience, but in radio terms a very high quality audience.
When he became politically prominent the boycott movements began, driving off many advertisers sensitive to this pressure.
This did not lose him his own platform, it just reduced his and his stations/networks revenues.
But this all served to discourage others, especially platform-owners.
This is as we have seen quite one-sided, as cultural and political factors favor one side in making noise, especially in the mass media.

We are seeing much the same things with YouTube.

Freeman Hunt said...

This is a great post.

If they were looking at the long-term rather than short-term value, they might go in for free speech. The advertising has to go where the eyeballs are. What are these companies going to do? Never show their advertising to most people? No, they would eventually come around. It would have been better, after the news reports with company ads alongside hateful videos, for YouTube to go on the offensive talking about what a place of free speech it is.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Monopolies or near-monopolies in social media should be held to high free-speech standards or be forced to split up or downsize.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Yes, just as I said in the very first blog post about the YouTube shooting.


“When I heard about this shooting at YouTube headquarters yesterday, I immediately thought about the all the angry YouTube vloggers out there in YouTube land, due to the de-monetization of their vlogs, but I thought naw, that can’t be it...

I follow (subscribe) a few YouTube vloggers and there are a lot of unhappy even extremely angry vloggers who have had their videos de-monetized by YouTube. What YouTube has done is set up some sort of algorithm in which when certain words or images in a thumbnail are used they’re deemed “inappropriate for viewing”, so the video then becomes de-monetized and the video creators make make no money on their videos. There are YouTube vloggers who have made so much money in the past that they have lived comfortably off their YouTube earnings, by having a huge amount of subscribers and lots of views of their videos.”

4/4/18, 11:46 AM

holdfast said...

Ironically, firearms review and repair channels have been some of the biggest victims of demonetization over the last year, and it's now progressed to outright banning for many channels, generally on very nebulous grounds (like going back and finding a "violation" in a 4 year old video, even though that video has been fine for 4 years).

This has led to a lot of grumbling in the firearms community, as well as attempts at working around the problem - using Patreon for funding, or moving videos to new platforms like full30.com or even P0rnhub.com.

You know what all those pissed-off firearms owners (some of whom own a LOT of firearms, including federally-registered machine guns) have not done? They haven't gone on a shooting rampage at YouTube's HQ.

Karen said...

No where on the list do I see “conservative content“ listed , but that is the most disturbing thing to me, that explicitly conservative content is being demonetized. The most egregious example is the very traditional videos that come from Prager U. There’s no way you could call them troubling or controversial and yet many of them or demonetize simply because they are so effective at explaining premarket and conservative positions. I suppose youtube’s Argument is that some people are offended or triggered at having to be exposed to these views. It seems that YouTube allows viewers to lodge complaints and then yanks the ads.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

They place a higher value on not offending advertisers who pay them money than they do on providing you a free speech platform where you can make money. And that surprises you why?

As the good professor has stated, they are totally dependent on the users to provide the content that draws the eyeballs that the advertisers are looking for.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Is it time to move the Althouse blog to Pornhub?

I saw something the other day were a Pornhub spokeswoman said that Pornhub was considering opening up a site to compete with youtube/facebook which would have much less restrictive rules.

Mike said...

I suppose youtube’s Argument is that some people are offended or triggered at having to be exposed to these views.

When simply saying the Western Canon has wisdom we can learn from is enough to trigger these snowflakes, Prager's honest conservatism doesn't stand a chance. Destruction of Western Civilization is the goal of progressives. That's who writes the algorythms. That's who enforces the opaque "codes" driving demonetization.

William said...

This is a high class neighborhood. The cigars here are Churchillian and not Clintonian, at least in the eyes of tcrosse........Maybe the analogy should be to a bus company. If the bus goes through a deplorable neighborhood, can the ads on that bus be said to be targeted to deplorable people. Should the bus company be banned from making money from those ads or is it simpler to just ban ads or, perhaps, bus service from deplorable neighborhoods.

Michael K said...

I saw something the other day were a Pornhub spokeswoman said that Pornhub was considering opening up a site to compete with youtube/facebook which would have much less restrictive rules.

I did a search yesterday for gun related videos and they are still on You Tube so far.

I was looking for one on field stripping my Walther P 38 pistol and many gun owners use these videos instead of the written instructions on servicing these guns. So far they are still there.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Inga said...

“No where on the list do I see “conservative content“ listed , but that is the most disturbing thing to me, that explicitly conservative content is being demonetized.”

I subscribe to a few liberal YouTube vlogggers and they also complain of the demonetization policies and have been victims of the policy. Some vloggers have absolutely no political content on their channels and they too have been hit with the demonetization process.

eric said...

There really seems to be a lot of space here for a libertarian competitor. One that is more hands off.

It shocks me that we haven't seen anything like that yet.

tcrosse said...

The cigars here are Churchillian and not Clintonian

Nor Freudian, per Ralph L. Possibly Magritty, i.e. Ceci n'est pas un cigare.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Who would have thought progressives would want to go back to the standards of 50s TV? And now they're going after Trump for adultery, with no suggestion of MeToo issues? Part of the answer to the mystery is that global corporations and the progressives agree on making the whole world a more diverse and open place. If only bad words, and people like Trump and his deplorable followers, can be excluded, that will be progress right there. Next stop: the old Coke commercials.

Clyde said...

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Howard said...

Yeah, the millenials running social media operate a blend of Brave New World to get people addicted to the SOMA stimulation that controls them instead of violence in a soft-core 1984-esque Oceania.

The New Yorker had a recent article on sanitizing Reddit that justifies corporate censorship.

langford peel said...

I think all the titty twisting violence is behind these warnings.
.

Inga said...

The Adpocalypse and demonetization of YouTube videos, an explanation.


“Commentary channels — including Philip DeFranco, h3h3productions, and Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg — were particularly vocal about lost revenues in the wake of the boycott. Though, to be fair, earnings seem to be improving slightly today as certain marketers resume their YouTube spend. DeFranco, for instance — who moved further away from his reliance on YouTube ads earlier this week with the launch of a crowdfunded news network — says ad earnings on his channel fell 80% at the outset of the boycott, then leveled out to a less ominous 30% decrease by mid-April.

Other creators who have seen revenues fall include gun review destination Military Arms Channel and progressive news host David Pakman, who said ad earnings dropped an astonishing 99% on the heels of the scandal — though Pakman’s channel has since regained 33% of total lost revenues. Channels within the pro wrestling community, including Beyond Wrestling, are also taking serious hits. Both Military Arms and Pakman have set up Patreon pages in order to keep their engines running.

In addition to outright demonetization, what’s most notable about the ‘Adpocalypse’ is that videos are now losing ad revenue in less obvious ways. Last month, YouTube introduced new safeguards whereby marketers can opt out of running ads against certain videos by category. Brands can reportedly choose, for instance, to remove ads from videos that feature ‘tragedy and conflict’, ‘sensitive social issues’, ‘sexually suggestive content’, and more.“

Owen said...

Prof. A: you expected due process? You expected anything other than an opaque maze of bureaucratese using woolly terms and passive voice and a hundred qualifiers? And if you should have any questions, just call the help desk where the helper bots will escort into an endless menu of options and, at last, that cheerful synthetic "Your Call Is Important To Us. We Are Glad To Have Answered Your Inquiry. Have A Nice Day!"

This was always going to happen.

Quaestor said...

Michael K. wrote: I did a search yesterday for gun-related videos and they are still on YouTube so far.

Most will remain on YouTube until awareness of their new hosting becomes more widespread. Here's an example which is well worth watching since it hits directly on the topic of this discussion: Fahrenheit 451 & Digital Decay.

n.n said...

Google probably missed the irony of a self-abortion. Demonetization is similar in principle and in practice to selection or Pro-Choice. You have been deemed unworthy.

Howard said...

This is just an negative externality of adoption of social media. This may spur changes or perhaps it will take a few copycats to get Google's attention.

By quickening social evolution, is there a positive externality that is born of tragic USA mass random shootings?

Charlie Currie said...

He who has the gold makes the rules. Advertisers have the gold, so they make the rules. GoogleFacebook are the enforcers.

Demonetization is capitalism. Removing content is censorship.

I would be more concerned with the later, even though, it is not illegal.

Quaestor said...

By quickening social evolution, is there a positive externality that is born of tragic USA mass random shootings?

The Inner Party could not have framed it better.

Robert said...

Do you have an adsense account? Here is a support page that suggests you can see the violations from your account.

https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/7003627?hl=en

Leland said...

Advertisers have the gold, so they make the rules. GoogleFacebook are the enforcers.

I think there is some truth to that, but I don't think it fully applies to this situation. Personally, I often find the Google Ads that prop up ought to violate things like "content that enables dishonest behavior". With GoogleFacebook, perhaps the gold is coming from a Russian advertising firm or a Conservative advertising firm; but they'll block it. But if the ad comes from MSNBC or CNN, they'll allow it. Why block real sites and allow fake news sites?

James K said...

Just came across this:

Facebook Bans Image of Jesus for ‘Excessively Violent Content’

indiana118 said...

The problem is that we rely on distributors who have no real competition.

If Google doesn't accept your content, you can't take it elsewhere.

It used to be if you didn't like doing business with Store A you could go across the street. But today all the stores buy their product from the same distributor, and government protects that bottlenecked channel from competition both directly (with things like subsidies and partnerships that magnify economy-of-scale advantages) and indirectly (with things like regulations that knock smaller competitors out of the market).

Get a bag of marbles and call them "lobbyists". Play by winner-takes-all rules. That's the US economy in too many industries right now.

tim in vermont said...

By quickening social evolution, is there a positive externality that is born of tragic USA mass random shootings?

You know what Howard? You have no fucking idea what “evolution” means. What you are talking about is a consolidation of power in the hands of those who think like you.

Yancey Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yancey Ward said...

I think (not sure about this, though!) the sites get demonetized because no ads are attached to them- the advertisers have complained about their ads appearing next to content they don't wish to be associated with. This is a legitimate complaint with regards to the advertisers. In the case of YouTube, Google brings the advertisers and the viewers of the channels together, and when the advertisers complain, Google stops bringing them together.

Now, I know some users of Googles web products complain that all has happened is that Google stop remitting the ad income to "inappropriate" content producers, not that the ads stopped appearing. This seems to have been Ms. Aghdam's complaint, though she wasn't specific about it- just that she was getting views but no ad revenue.

There is probably a lawsuit awaiting that can prove or disprove the idea that Google is simply keeping the ad revenue for itself. I doubt this is the case, but then I don't use Google for content I produce, so have no first hand experience in the matter.

ALP said...

We are huge YouTube fans in our house - we watch it as much as Netflix. Also potheads, so we watch "weed tubers". This has ruined the careers of many young, very intelligent and capable weed tubers (see StrainCentral or Positive Smash 420 if you don't believe me, see for yourself). Many have moved to Patreon.

But what really alarms us is when this happens to many of the engineering, machining, science and cigar channels my BF watches. Very informative scientific and engineering channels are getting caught up in this. Utterly non political, non violent - in one case the host (cigar review channel) simply made an offhand political comment. Dinged. One guy (Cody's Lab) had his channel pulled and started a second in desperation in order to feed his family! Creepy and Orwellian, but I believe that new outlets (like Patreon) will be created to give YouTube some competition. Or I can at least hope.

holdfast said...

I can understand if some advertisers don't want to run ads with MAC's (Tim of Military Arms Channel) videos - but I am sure that folks like Brownells, Midway, Windham Weaponry and others who sell to firearms owners DO - so why doesn't YouTube do a better job of matching content and ads? Are they lazy, and just want to leave money on the table? Or are they displaying an ideological bias?

Yancey Ward said...

Holdfast wrote:

"so why doesn't YouTube do a better job of matching content and ads? Are they lazy, and just want to leave money on the table? Or are they displaying an ideological bias?"

A good question, and why I do still have doubts about the motives and statements from Google itself.

Bad Lieutenant said...

David Docetad said...
Ann, it's a cigar, not a cigarette. Use your teeth.

4/5/18, 7:57 AM


After fifty years of training? Are you nuts???

Jim at said...

I'd love to see a class-action suit by legit Blog or Video content makers like you who band together and force transparency and dialogue on Google and their properties. Their policies seem arbitrary and they won't be able to hide behind "it was the algorithm that did it!" forever. Right?

I'd love to see that. And join that suit.

They stole - flat-out stole - money from me. Closed my account. Claimed my sites violated terms. (simply one-page landing sites with original content) No explanation. No appeal.

Closed account. Money gone.

I long for the day those assholes go down just like Gawker did.

Bob said...

I understand its slow, and cumbersome, but the free market will handle these problems, as youtube and FB etal abuse their customers, new businesses will sprout up to fill the need.

Sure, but in the meantime we can bitch about it to our hearts' contents.

Big Mike said...

@Jim at, you're little, they're big. Big, left-leaning corporations behave just the same -- often worse! -- than any other large corporation.

Inga said...

“They stole - flat-out stole - money from me. Closed my account. Claimed my sites violated terms. (simply one-page landing sites with original content) No explanation. No appeal.

Closed account. Money gone.”

Judging by the “content” you drop on these comments sections, I’d say they were justified. Good on them.

Big Mike said...

Judging by the “content” you drop on these comments sections, I’d say they were justified. Good on them.

More "compassion" from a commie.

Unknown said...

Alcohol-related content
Tobacco-related content
Gambling and games-related content
Healthcare-related content

Really? the first 3 are legal and games are a multi-billion dollar business. Healthcare content? What the h?
I was banned from Google adwords years ago for trying to advertise my software. I could not find out why and the ban was permanent. I could have changed my company handle and gotten away with it, but bots were costing me too much.

Howard said...

Careful, Inga. You know how easily triggered the Trumpkins get when you pierce their safe-space echo chamber. You naughty today and the big tough boys are all lining up to give you spankings!

Drago said...

Howard: "By quickening social evolution, is there a positive externality that is born of tragic USA mass random shootings?"

Probably not, as the 2 most prevalent causes of mass shootings (random and not so random) are terrorism (particularly islamic) and mental health.

Both subjects the left does not want to even talk about, much less do anything about.

We can't even get lefties to discuss armed deputies running and hiding instead of confronting crazed shooters, after govt law enforcement agencies miss the chance to stop a potential crazed shooter.

But in law enforcements defense, they only had about 50 chances and several years to stop this guy.

If only law enforcement had been given another 2 years and another 50 chances they might have acted on the information that was already being showered down about this particular killer.

Nope.

Some rancher in Montana is supposed to surrender his AR-15 in penance or something.

#Logic

Inga said...

“Careful, Inga. You know how easily triggered the Trumpkins get when you pierce their safe-space echo chamber. You naughty today and the big tough boys are all lining up to give you spankings!”

LOL, I’ve got my cast iron panties on.

buwaya said...

Brownells, Buds, Midway and Windham et al probably wouldn't be permitted to buy ads by YouTube/Google.
Hickok has cited YouTube pushback from his on-video sponsor acknowledgement (the old style radio style of thanking the sponsor) of Buds.

Howard said...

Drago: The cops are on you law and order types. You are perfectly happy when they shoot unarmed black kids, so you own their failure to pursue an active shooter. Your stats on low frequency, etc are accurate but irrelevant. People (not you and me) are moved by these bigger than life events and demand changes. Evolution is not always good.

Michael McNeil said...

1. What? So all it takes to get YouTube from prefacing all one’s videos with obnoxious ads is to “shock” YouTube/Google now and then (or proceed to “monetarize” your videos yourself)? Horrors!

2. As alluded to above, once YouTube has “demonetized” you (or even before), now that you’ve got 300,000 views a day (or whatever it was), why not put your own ads onto your videos, if ad revenue (rather than freedom from ads) is what you want?