It seems like the golden age of YouTube is over. It has been treating content creators with discrimination for quite a while now. Some accounts are thriving and others are being banned. Alex Jones is a recent example of that. YouTube and Facebook have banned Jones too for his strong comments on social issues.
Alex Jones is a conspiracy theorist radio host. A spokesperson from YouTube said “Jones’s account was terminated because he violated their policies against hate speech.” Google on the other hand also has strong policies regarding hate speech and false information. But, it looks like the company has been going easy on Donald Trump.
Not too long ago, Google announced that it won’t allow political ads to target users beyond broad categories of age, gender, and zip. The company also said that it does not treat ads for politicians different from ads for everyone else. That should mean Google won’t allow Donald Trump to say whatever he wants even if it’s about Biden.
Apparently, YouTube policies allowed the ad even though Google said it won’t run false political ads. Facebook, on the other hand, said it won’t pull false ads. Mark Zuckerberg made it very clear that in a democracy, people should decide what is credible, not a tech company.
Another discrimination policy by YouTube is the recent (COPPA) Children Online Privacy Protection Act. Creators are required to label videos that are made for children. All such videos and data collection will be blocked from viewers resulting in lower ad revenue. These videos will lose popular features, end screens, and comments. This new system was introduced after YouTube and the FTC came up with a settlement for violating children’s privacy.
The COPPA act forbids collecting data from children under 13 without the consent of their parents. This new system is sending creators reeling over what exactly is kids’ content. Toy reviews, gaming videos, family vlogging might fall into this category. Creators who violate the act will be directly liable to the FTC.
Unfortunately, creators are still unsure if their content is in violation or not as YouTube hasn’t been clear in identifying what falls under the category of kids’ content. Once a video is labeled kid’s content, personalized ads will be removed from there. And it doesn’t matter who is watching the video, the rules still apply. Content creators will have to be very careful about what they create because they could end up bearing financial penalties of up to $42,530 per violation.Such changes could ruin the careers of content creators. Unavailability of certain features will leave a devastating impact on the business.
YouTube was once considered a platform for anyone who wanted to make money and and a big audience. Now that the new guidelines are in effect, YouTube is clearly saying you only matter if you are already big. The bar is getting higher and higher. It’s becoming difficult for the existing content creators to abide by the changing policies. Those who were making tens of thousands of dollars are finding it hard to make ends meet. In other words, making a living on YouTube may slowly be coming to an end.