YouTube has different rules for the platform's biggest stars
posted Friday Aug 9, 2019 by Scott Ertz
Over the last year, there has been a lot of discussion about YouTube and, in particular, the way their Community Guidelines are implemented and enforced. The company has changed its public rules to define what is true, as well as demonetizing videos that don't fit into a particular political or social view. The problem is that, while the rules are usually written clearly, the enforcement is not.
It often seems that the majority of content creators are bound to the published Community Guidelines, the bigger creators are not. The biggest example of inconsistent policy enforcement for big-name content creators has been Logan Paul. Early last year, Paul posed with and seemed to mock a dead body that he found in a forest in Japan, known for suicides, in a video posted to YouTube. The company took two full weeks to respond to the incident, removing him from the Preferred partner program. Afterward, YouTube released new policies and procedures, theoretically preventing the problem in the future. When Paul tazed a rat in another video a few weeks later, the company ignored the policies and removing monetization for 2 weeks, essentially a slap on the wrist.
It has long been believed that YouTube turns a blind eye to what the big creators do until criticism no longer allows them to pretend they didn't know. According to The Washington Post, who interviewed current and former content moderators for YouTube, this is exactly what happens. One former moderator told the Post,
Our responsibility was never to the creators or to the users. It was to the advertisers.
That should be a surprise to no one. YouTube is owned by Google, which is an advertising company through and through. Everything they do is intended to increase eyeballs and advertising returns. If a content creator creates popular videos, they will attract more advertising dollars, even if they push the boundaries.