YouTube has responded to reports that it has changed the way it approves videos for monetization on the site after some creators accused the video platform of favoring advertisers over users.
The Google-owned company is facing a backlash from those who make and upload content to the site, following a string of complaints from influencers that videos around LGBT history, mental health problems and acne were seemingly deemed "not appropriate" for advertising.
In a statement emailed to The Drum, YouTube stated that the messages being received by creators about their content no longer being suitable for pre-rolls and other ads weren't due to a policy change, but were down to what it said was an "improved" notification process to make users aware of demonetization.
"While our policy of demonetizing videos due to advertiser-friendly concerns hasn’t changed, we’ve recently improved the notification and appeal process to ensure better communication," a YouTube spokesperson said.
Creators first took issue with the new notification system late yesterday evening (31 August), taking to Twitter to express confusion as to why their content was now being flagged as not friendly for advertisers.
Looks like talking about erasing LGBTQ history isn't "Advertiser Friendly"...maybe I should have made it into a tag? pic.twitter.com/qUGA4Dev9I
— Rowan Ellis (@HeyRowanEllis) September 1, 2016
While Google has said that nothing around its actual policy on the matter has changed, irked fans and YouTubers are taking to Twitter to bash the new notification system under the hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty.
Some users were quick to correct reports that YouTube has tightened its rules, pointing out that the only evidence appears to be a screenshot from YouTuber.
Policy isn't changed, it is just now less vaguely worded so when a video does get flagged, the reasoning is clearer for the video creator. — Egoraptor Johnson (@egoraptor) September 1, 2016
YouTube is one of the most popular platforms among influencers, and is home to big names like Zoella and PewDiePie.
Its videos are checked for copyright infringement upon upload, and are monitored further by staff if reports are made by viewers, meaning that the videos demonitizied this afternoon were either flagged as inappropriate for ads by individuals or brands.