YouTube Please Review Your Human Review Demonetization System

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I love YouTube as a viewer and as a Creator. I think it's a terrific platform that gives everyone the opportunity to have a voice. However, over the past few months, changes implemented to YouTube's monetization algorithm have made it harder for creators to exist on the platform. In fact, these changes are putting the entire YouTube Community at risk due to what appears to be the careless application of demonetization by YouTube's new Human Reviewers. YouTube is effectively deplatforming their own creators with this new system, and this needs to be fixed by empowering creators with tools to address issues raised by Human Reviewers.

YouTube has started to allow creators to self-certify their videos, meaning creators get to label whether or not their videos get monetized. On top of creators self-certifying their videos, YouTube has AI reviewers who certify that YouTubers have properly certified their videos. On top of the AI reviewers certifying that YouTubers are properly certifying their videos, YouTube has human reviewers making sure that YouTubers and the AI are properly certifying videos.

This is where the problem begins.

The vast majority of YouTubers I know take the appropriate steps to ensure that their content falls within YouTube's Advertiser Safety Guidelines, many going as far as self-censoring their videos. Self-censorship includes, but is not limited to, cutting out curse words, avoiding talking about certain topics YouTube might consider a "sensitive topic," and/or blurring certain content.

Now even though YouTubers go through great lengths to make their content "Advertiser Friendly" as described by YouTube's Advertiser Safety Guidelines, many still get demonetized for the most innocuous reasons. Here are a few examples:

1. Blurring any part of a video may get you demonetized for "Blurred or censored nudity," regardless if you're blurring street addresses, people's faces, or anything else that may require blurring.

2. Talking about any topic may get you demonetized for "Discussions of modern acts of terror, events resulting in the catastrophic loss of human life, or controversial social issues," even if you are not discussing anything related to war. I have friends in the makeup community who've had videos discussing makeup drama get demonetized for this reason.

3. Commenting on anti-maskers may get you demonetized for "Hate or discrimination toward a protected group based on race, age, or other natural characteristics."

The issue with many of these demonetizations is that YouTubers are often not allowed to appeal these demonetizations, even if they're wrongly applied. YouTube's Human Reviewers get the final word, and even if YouTubers try to reach out to Team YouTube on Twitter or the Creator Chat, they are often told all reviews by Human Reviewers are final.

The larger issue is that YouTube recently implemented a policy that after a certain number of demonetizations, YouTubers will effectively be removed from YouTube's Partner Program. This means YouTubers will no longer be able to monetize their content, and their videos will likely not place well in the algorithm.

At the end of the day, this means YouTube is literally having an army of Human Reviewers deplatform their own creators through careless application of YouTube's Advertiser Safety Guidelines. This is a serious issue that may cause many creators to abandon YouTube or just see their channels slowly die.

I love YouTube and the YouTube Community, and I think the last thing anyone wants is for YouTube to destroy itself from within. I think it's important for YouTube to review the way Human Reviewers are applying demonetizations, as well as create tools that empower creators to fit their content within YouTube's Advertiser Safety Guidelines.