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YouTube creators have been complaining for months that the platform’s monetisation policies and practices are dysfunctional — but now it’s targeting those raising money for victims of tragedy.
On Monday, super-vlogger Casey Neistat uploaded a video entitled “LET’S HELP THE VICTIMS OF THE LAS VEGAS ATTACK”.
In the four-minute-long video, Neistat outlines how he wants to use his platform to help the victims of the mass shooting that saw 59 killed and over 500 injured. He explained how he set up a GoFundMe — which has raised over US$280 000 as of writing — and how he would be adding all of the video’s AdSense revenue to the donation.
That AdSense money never came. On Thursday, Neistat tweeted that his video had been demonetised.
literally a video about charity.. where i state all Adsense is going to that charity.. youtube says NOT SUITABLE FOR ADVERTISERS pic.twitter.com/PBvHFNNuGy
— Casey Neistat (@CaseyNeistat) October 5, 2017
The video has since gained over 1.3-million views.
Four hours after tweeting, YouTube responded, quoting its policy not to run ads on videos about tragedies.
We ❤️ what you’re doing to help, but no matter the intent, our policy is to not run ads on videos about tragedies.
— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) October 5, 2017
YouTube creator Philip DeFranco weighed in on the topic, showing screenshots of a Jimmy Kimmel video on the shooting that had not been demonetised.
“Be better,” he wrote.
Your response is bullshit. It’s not true. People are tired this. Be better. pic.twitter.com/XWh6eMVQWG
— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) October 6, 2017
It seems the Kimmel video has since been demonetised — but the issue has pointed to how YouTube’s blanket policies are not complex enough to deal with tricky subjects like those of mass shootings and the responses that follow.
Neistat later pointed out that his video was not about the tragedy, but a fundraiser.
“That’s more than semantics,” he wrote.
my video was not about the tragedy. It was about a fundraiser.. that’s more than semantics.
— Casey Neistat (@CaseyNeistat) October 6, 2017
Neistat has since made another video thanking his viewers for their donations and ensuring them that it is monetised and that the proceeds will also go to charity.
Previous YouTube monetising controversies include the time it demonetised LGBT+ content in March, and when it made it harder for creators to promote their Patreons just last week.