Popular podcaster Joe Rogan is reporting that his channel was recently hit by a new YouTube demonetization policy. According to Joe Rogan’s producer Jamie, a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast featuring stand-up comedian Ari Shaffir (episode 1357) was demonetized after a human review for containing “harmful or dangerous acts.”
Rogan said that he and Shaffir may have joked about harmful and dangerous acts but there wasn’t anything harmful or dangerous featured in the video.
Jamie then went on to say that the decision is being appealed but that “this is a very new thing that just happened within the last two weeks on YouTube and we’re probably one of the first channels to get it.”
He added that all the clips from the episode which were uploaded to Rogans JRE Clips channels were monetized and that the discrepancy has been caused by different human reviewers looking at the videos.
Rogan responded to the decision by slamming YouTube’s efforts to control the way people communicate through its increasingly strict monetization policies:
“They’re scrambling for control. They want to control the way people communicate. And they also want to make a profit. See part of this is they’re, they’re incentivizing people to do shows that they can profit off of. So if you have a show that has no bad language, if you have a show that has no controversial topics, those shows are more appealing to advertisers. So for them, as a business, they’ll look at someone like me and say, “Well this is a limited advertisers option.””
He also criticized YouTube’s application of its monetization rules and said that the company should place more emphasis on finding the right ads for popular content. Rogan suggested that if the company took this approach, there would be companies willing to advertise against content that’s deemed to be “more risky.”
Rogan then framed YouTube’s monetization rules as a form of soft censorship and said that “in their defense, they’re not keeping me from saying these things but they’re incentivizing you to not say these things by costing you money.”
According to YouTube’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines which govern YouTube monetization, the policy was last updated in June 2019. However, if this is a new policy and Rogan’s channel is one of the first to be hit, it could still be in the testing phase and an official update to YouTube’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines could be coming soon.
The news of Rogan being demonetized shows just how far-reaching YouTube’s demonetization decisions are becoming. This practice that once primarily affected political and more controversial content creators on YouTube is now affecting mainstream creators such as Rogan, who has one of the most popular channels on YouTube and currently brings in over 60 million views per month.
A few days ago, YouTube channel Nerd City released a blacklist of words and phrases that would result in YouTube videos being demonetized if they were used in the title.
The list showed just how far-reaching YouTube’s demonetization policies have become with innocuous words such as “Brazil,” “you,” and “female” making the list. It also revealed that simply mentioning potentially controversial topics such as “racism,” regardless of the context, would result in instant video demonetization.
And YouTube’s far-reaching demonetization decisions are just one of the many recent changes that have negatively impacted the creator community at large. Last month, YouTube told creators that are popular with kids to prepare for “significant business impacts”. Recently released research has also shown that YouTube’s anti-conspiracy algorithm has boosted legacy media at the expense of YouTubers. Despite the impact on the creator community, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has publicly stated that she’s committed to boosting “authoritative sources” (legacy media outlets that YouTube deems to be trustworthy) on the platform.