YouTube clarifies stance on 'hate speech' and 'advertiser-friendly' content

YouTube has clarified its stance on hate speech

YouTube has made changes to “address advertiser concerns” around ad placement clarifying its rules on hate speech.

Speaking via a blog post, YouTube said it would not allow adverts to appear alongside “hateful” or discriminatory content. However, some vloggers have complained the rules are too strict and will affect their income.

The announcement clarifies the kind of content that will not earn money on YouTube describing “hateful” content as any video that promotes discrimination or “disparages or humiliates” people on the basis of their race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or “other characteristic associated with systemic discrimination”.

Advertising will also not be placed next to videos using “gratuitously disrespectful language that shames or insults an individual or group.”

Videos deemed to not be “advertiser-friendly” could remain on the video sharing website as long as they don’t fall foul of the new guidelines which also advise users to refrain from making “inappropriate” parody videos.

According to reports, users have criticised the move with one - Captain Source - telling the BBC that the algorithm used to determine “advertiser-friendly” content was far from perfect.

“Context around many words is incredibly important and needs to be addressed,” they said.

Others also pointed out that mainstream news networks posted inflammatory debates that could fall under “incendiary and demeaning”, and that music videos often push the boundaries of sexually-explicit content but still carry ads. “Why punish the little guy, but not the big networks?” asked user Eugenia Loli. “This is a double standard.”

Back in August, some YouTubers had complained that their videos had been flagged as “not advertiser-friendly” so were no longer earning ad revenue.

YouTube parent company Google has been dealing with many ad misplacement issues over the last six months with Havas Group making headlines back in March, pulling its clients ads from YouTube and Google over brand safety fears.

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Gillian West

Gillian West is The Drum’s social media manager and works to ensure The Drum’s content reaches followers across platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram in an engaging, relevant and timely manner. Based in Glasgow, she has been actively involved in building The Drum’s Creative Works brand for over three years now and has interviewed major creative figures including Rankin, Peter Souter, Rosie Arnold, Bob Greenberg and Vicki Maguire. During her time at The Drum she has attended events such as Cannes Lions, the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Art Director’s Club Europe, D&AD and more.

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