Do YouTube’s “New” Advertising Regulations Unfairly Target Metal Videos?


The Internet collectively lost its shit earlier this week when YouTube made an announcement regarding “advertiser-friendly” videos posted on the service. At the crux of the issue is what kinds of content user-uploaded videos can contain if their creators want to make money from those videos via YouTube’s advertising services (the videos can still be uploaded regardless — they just can’t be monetized).

In order to monetize a video on YouTube, the video needs to adhere to YouTube’s standards for “advertiser-friendly content” and must contain none of the following:

  • Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity or sexual humor
  • Violence, include display of serious injury and event related to violent extremism
  • Inappropriate language, including harassment, swearing, and vulgar language
  • Promotion of drugs, regulated substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items
  • Controversial or sensitive subject and event, including subject related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown.

Initial research suggests that most people are overreacting. None of these rules are new; instead, YouTube has simply become more transparent about videos they’re de-monetizing by sending content creators an email when it happens (as opposed to before, when they’d just de-monetize the video and do nothing), and streamlining the process for appealing that decision if the creator believes it’s been done in error. That said, anecdotal evidence would seem to suggest that certain YouTubers feel they’ve been hit unfairly hard with demonetization claims since the announcement was made.

So: do these regulations — which, again, aren’t new — unfairly target metal videos? The reasons that argument could be made are obvious: we love shit that’s gory, sexual, violent, extreme, inappropriate, vulgar and controversial. Reading the above checklist of “do nots” is essentially a textbook on how to make a metal video. Especially gory metal videos being banned from YouTube isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, either; there’s a reason that insanely NSFW Cattle Decapitation video had to be hosted elsewhere.

Several videos on MetalSucks’ YouTube channel display all five kinds of allegedly objectionable content listed above. None of our videos have ever been de-monetized for any of those reasons.

It’s also very important to note that YouTube is not censoring anything; they’re simply stripping ads from these videos. And again, this policy isn’t new: they’ve been doing this for years. It’s understandable why, for example, Disney wouldn’t want their ads shown on top of a Cannibal Corpse song called “Fucked with a Knife.”

Have other metal content creators had the same experience as MetalSucks? So far it seems that they have — it’s business as usual in gory, sexual, perverse, extreme YouTube Metal-land — but we’ve reached out to several metal labels to see what they think.

In the meantime watch former The Week in Metal host Glenn Fricker’s entertaining reaction to the new YouTube banhammer below.

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