Take it as a source of solace, or of further grievance – as the case may be – all you YouTube creators who have had your content and revenue removed by the platform for reasons of political bias against you.
It’s now becoming apparent that YouTube’s “war on content” is somewhat broader than just stifling free, or unwanted political speech – it’s almost as if the world’s leading video outlet has declared war on any and every perceived transgression to its rules – without explaining what those rules might be.
There are two possibilities: one, Google has particularly bad artificial intelligence content filtering algorithms and no human review process in place.
Of course, there’s always the other possibility: that YouTube is hiding its highly damaging political bias in a crowd of unrelated injustices committed against channels of unrelated nature.
Either way, and nevertheless, here we are: Sir Spooks, a video editor with a popular YouTube channel that are dealing with, well, spooky stuff – horror, bizarre, and urban legends content – just had his work demonetized on Google’s video platform.
Just got an email from YouTube that my entire channel has been demonetized for "misleading metadata". I'm absolutely heartbroken. This must be a mistake. I've spent so much time on this channel and to have my source of income removed with the snap of a finger is awful… pic.twitter.com/QtXHzuqmMC
— Sir Spooks (@TheSirSpooks) July 22, 2019
“This is insane. @YTCreators @TeamYouTube @YouTube y’all’s system is insanely broken and the fact that you won’t give this another look is wild. 400K subs and demonetized. No one is safe. YouTube continues to prove themselves as an unreliable platform for creators” – Sir Spooks protested on Twitter.
The creator suggested that YouTube’s apparent censorship-gone-wild was “explained” to him in an email that said the content on the 400,000+ subscriber channel featured “misleading metadata” – and was therefore stripped of its ad revenues, i.e., demonetized.
And these numbers and associated revenue, in case you weren’t aware – can and often do represent the sole source of meaningful income for many YouTube creators, who have long since chosen to throw their hat into this Google ring and build their audience there.
But there, it turns out – Google can just make their income disappear. Spooky? We’ll let you decide.
Meantime, this particular creator tried arguing that “nothing about his videos was misleading,” and rallying his supporters to argue his case and persuade YouTube they had just made a horrible mistake.
But Sir Spooks also shared that even after his request to review the channel, YouTube informed him the decision would not be changed – while the reasons for making it in the first place were never “further clarified.”
Welcome to the new, brave, spooky world of arbitrary online censorship, Sir Spooks.