Over the last year, the major social media platforms have made several changes that have made it difficult for creators that focus on history and firearms to continue producing content.
And now, C&Rsenal, a channel dedicated to documenting historical military small arms from across the world, has suddenly been told by YouTube that the channel is no longer eligible for monetization because it produces “harmful content.”
Othias, the founder of C&Rsenal, told viewers that after putting in lots of work to grow the channel in 2019, the demonetization “came as a surprise.” He added that in the last three months of 2019, the YouTube ad revenue had become profitable for the channel “in a way that it had never been before” and that December's advertising numbers were “absolutely record-breaking.” However, because C&Rsenal is now demonetized, he's “very confident” that this December ad revenue is “never going to be paid” to the channel.
Beyond describing the content as “harmful,” YouTube said the channel has lost its ability to monetize because it contains:
“Content showing creation, modification or sale of weapons that may result in injury to others. This includes links to off-site sale.”
C&Rsenal plans to reapply for demonetization but Othias said it will be tough to match YouTube's reapplication requirements of 1,000 additional subscribers and 4,000 additional public watch hours now that the channel is demonetized.
“The problem is those numbers are hard to maintain, especially growth, when you're demonetized and YouTube deranks you,” Othias said. “It really feels like we're being railroaded if I'm honest. All of my backend contacts have been shut off, like all the old emails I had for partner support, they don't work. It's very much an opaque process now. You watching this video, scratching your head, know as much as I do about what the heck is going on. It's pretty creepy for us.”
Othias added that while the channel does have other revenue streams in the form of Patreon and SubscibeStar, “Patreon has been slowly losing funds” and the overall revenue has not been what the team expected for the labor.
Othias also addressed viewer recommendations to move to other platforms and said that “while that can be a way to keep a message alive,” it's not enough to sustain C&Rsenal. “Their combined strength is not enough to maintain something as large as this,“ he said.
The demonetization of C&Rsenal comes less than a month after Instagram announced changes that it was making changes that would wipe out firearms influencers on the platform. It's also the latest of several high profile history channel demonetizations on YouTube with channels such as The Great War also being mass demonetized in recent months.