YouTube accused of lying and withholding earned creator funds during demonetization purge


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YouTube appears to be conducting yet another mass demonetization purge on its site with multiple creators reporting that they’ve suddenly had their monetization turned off. Many of the creators who’ve been caught up in this purge are also accusing YouTube of withholding their funds and lying about the status of these funds.

Social commentator Mister Metokur, who live streams on YouTube but removed all his uploaded videos in August because he grew tired of “walking a tightrope of what is allowed for humor or politics and what isn't,” had his channel demonetized after a review of the non-existent video uploads on his channel led to it being flagged for “reused content.”

Mister Metokur appealed the decision and YouTube told him that the “reused content” message was a mistake and he’d actually had his monetization removed for “not having enough public content.”

When pressed for clarification on how much public content creators need to keep their monetization, YouTube refused to share the specifics and instead recommended that creators “just keep uploading original content and building your subs.”

Let’s play channel Purity Sin was also demonetized for “reused content.” They say the channel contains no reused content and that they has done nothing wrong.

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Purity Sin contacted YouTube via chat, phone, Twitter DM, and email and attempted to appeal the decision but was only given vague responses.

After demonetization was removed from these channels, Mister Metokur and other creators accused YouTube of withholding some of the ad revenue and Super Chat revenue that they earned before being demonetized.

One Twitter user also posted examples of YouTube’s conflicting public and private statements on when and if funds are paid out to demonetized creators.

In public, YouTube says “any revenue earned prior to being removed from YPP [YouTube Partner Program] will still be paid out.” However, in an email to cultural and political commentator Sinatra Says, who had his YouTube channel demonetized during the Vox adpocalypse, YouTube said: “All earnings you accrued before your channel was demonitized will still remain and will only be transferred to AdSense again once your re-application for YouTube Partner Program is approved.”

YouTube’s public statement that “any revenue earned prior to being removed from YPP [YouTube Partner Program] will still be paid out.”
Source: Twitter – @terrorsperg
YouTube’s private statement that “all earnings you accrued before your channel was demonitized will still remain and will only be transferred to AdSense again once your re-application for YouTube Partner Program is approved.”
Source: Twitter – @Sinatra_Says

According to the email, this means when a YouTube creator is demonetized, all the earnings that were accrued between the last payout and the channel being demonetized will be held by YouTube indefinitely and only paid out if the creator is successfully re-approved for monetization.

These reports of YouTube demonetizing more channels and withholding funds comes around the same time that new data showed that YouTube’s new rules will cut some creator ad revenue by up to 90% in 2020 – another change that’s making it increasingly difficult for creators to earn a living on the platform.

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Tom Parker

Tom Parker is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net and provides news and analysis on how we can promote free speech, stop censorship, and protect our personal data online. [email protected]