Backlash prompts YouTube to reverse decision on demonetizing all videos relating to coronavirus

Backlash prompts YouTube to reverse course on demonetizing coronavirus videos as select creators will soon be allowed to profit off of vlogging about the pandemic

  • The platform changed its mind on demonetizing coronavirus content
  • Select creators will now be able to profit off of ads on coronavirus videos
  • The move comes after prominent YouTubers criticized the decision 
  • Creators who self-certify and news outlets will be the first to be reinstated

YouTube is reconsidering its decision to demonetize videos that talk about coronavirus after backlash from some creators.

According to the streaming giant, it will soon allow a select number of trusted creators to curate videos on the topic. 

‘In the days ahead, we will enable ads for content discussing the coronavirus on a limited number of channels, including creators who accurately self-certify and a range of news partners,’ the company wrote in a blog post.

‘We’re preparing our policies and enforcement processes to expand monetization to more creators and news organizations in the coming weeks.’

The decision to reinstate monetization on some videos comes after prominent users took to social media in protest of the move this week.

Among them was popular news commentator and personality, Phillip DeFranco, who has 6.39 million subscribers on the platform. 

In a tweet on Tuesday, DeFranco criticized YouTube for its decision in a viral tweet prompting YouTube to reverse course a day later.

Previously, the platform had listed novel coronavirus videos under its ‘sensitive events’ policy that helps prevent creators from profiting off of videos centered on tragedies or violent events like mass shootings.

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YouTube will start by allowing ads on channels that use its self-certification program and a select number of news outlets. 

YouTube has come under fire for its role in radicalizing some users. Experts say its personalized recommendation algorithm is key to the problem (stock)

YouTube has come under fire for its role in radicalizing some users. Experts say its personalized recommendation algorithm is key to the problem (stock)

The move fits in with a broader push from the platform to help tamp down on conspiracy videos and misinformation while still allowing for a range of topics and diversity of opinion. 

So far, according to a recent study from experts at University of California, Berkley, the Google-owned platform has succeeded in reducing conspiracy recommendations.

The study analyzed more than 8 million video recommendations over the past 15 months and employed the use of an algorithm that rated videos and found that platform had substantially reduced the amount of conspiracy videos relating to topics like the terror events of 9/11 and more.


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