YouTube’s algorithms, which are used to censor and demonetize videos on the platform, are killing its creators, according to a report.
“With 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, according to YouTube, it’s easy to see why most of the vetting is left to algorithms. But creators complain that YouTube has set up a slow and inefficient appeals system,” reported Digiday on Wednesday. “Ad-disabled videos on YouTube must get 1,000 views in the span of seven days to qualify for a review, which YouTube says is done so the AI is not slowed down by videos with only a handful of views.”
“This approach hurts smaller YouTube channels, because it removes the ability for creators to make money on the most important stage of a YouTube video’s life cycle: the first seven days,” the report explains. “Typically, videos receive 70 percent or more of their views in the first seven days, according to multiple creators.”
In a statement, a YouTube spokesman attempted to defend the platform against criticism of increased demonetization.
“Back in March we rolled out new controls for advertisers to help them better choose where their ads are placed, and we rely on machine learning to evaluate the millions of videos on our platform to implement those choices,” claimed the spokesman. “But no system is perfect, so we encourage creators to appeal for a human review when they feel we got it wrong, and every appeal helps our advertising systems get smarter over time.”
Some of the platform’s most popular creators, however, still claim that the majority of their videos are being affected, dramatically reducing their revenue.
Last week, liberal interviewer Dave Rubin, who has interviewed dozens of prominent political figures, announced that a large percentage of his videos had been demonetized, cutting him off from being able to make money on the millions of views he typically gets.
Affected videos included interviews with former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali, professor Jordan B. Peterson, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, feminist activist and scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, and Larry King.
Several other popular YouTube creators have also been demonetized recently, including fast food reviewer TheReportOfTheWeek, who had both a Burger King review and a video update on Hurricane Irma demonetized by the platform, and former presidential candidate Ron Paul, following Google’s announcement that they’d “police YouTube like it never has before,” according to a report.
“YouTube is trying to balance the needs of advertisers with the needs of creators. Do they always get it right? Of course not,” proclaimed Steven Oh, COO of The Young Turks Network. “It’s a very tough balance to strike, and just as advertisers push for their interests to be protected, creators should do the same.”