A Devastatingly Slow Decline to Horror on Youtube

Youtube has reigned as one of the best social platforms since February 2005. Many YouTubers have found their place and communities within the platform while following their policy guidelines. Youtube does its best to shift its rules to appear more suitable for the broader audience, especially kids. There has been a recent policy change that could heavily affect future youtube channels and channel growth.

YouTube Changes

For the last few days, YouTubers had their videos suddenly demonetized without any given reason. One of the first few victims was RTGame Dan, who had his Best of RTGame 2022 demonetized for no reason whatsoever. He appealed to have the video rechecked while tweeting for Youtube’s attention, the only reliable way to communicate with them. 

Twitter - The best way to reach YouTube support

Instead of fixing the issue, more of his videos were being demonetized, including The Quarry, Persona 5, and Let’s Build a Lego Minecraft World. 

It was later before videos were demonetized in other channels like Moist Critical and Lythero. Despite announcing a policy change earlier last year, Youtube gave little warning or explanation of the specific date for the affecting change. Even Youtube representatives had no knowledge about the policy change before it was too late. After some digging, the policy guidelines were newly stated:

Inappropriate language

  • All varieties of profanity are now treated equally meaning they are not differentiated based on levels of severity. Also, we are not treating words such as “hell,” and “damn,” as profanity anymore. 
  • Content where profanity is used AFTER the first 8 seconds may receive ad revenue. However, if profanity is used in the first 8 seconds of the video, then it will not monetize.

Violence 

  • Content showing dead bodies (without context), game violence directed at a real, named person or acts that are created to intentionally shock and disgust, and videos showing an implied moment of death, will not receive ad revenue.
  • Standard gameplay where gory injuries are present AFTER the first 8 seconds, non-graphic tragedies and their aftermath, or police seizures as a part of law enforcement can receive ad revenue.”

The rules are strict, though they hold a bit of reason. The major problem is how Youtube forces older videos to follow the new guidelines. Since they were made without the new rules, they immediately become age-restricted.

Inconsistent Ruling

Youtube had recent acts that were strict with certain content creators while leaving others to get away with little punishment. Though the platform has been growing with more channels, it’s the company’s responsibility to manage every video. To enforce guidelines for certain channels while ignoring other inappropriate videos is unacceptable. 

CoryxKenshin is a Youtuber who makes varied videos to express his creativity and gaming skills. Later in 2022, his gameplay video of The Mortuary Assistant was demonetized due to the very mature ending. The reason sounded understandable until he realized other YouTubers had shown the same ending in their videos with no punishment, including Markiplier. Once he complained about the situation, Youtube realized their grave mistake and took down the demonetization for his video. It took Youtube a bit of time later to re-decide their action and demonetize Cory and Markiplier. The company’s inefficiencies in monitoring guidelines for every youtube channel have caused much discourse.

How Youtube continues to manage its platform makes it feel unsuitable for several content creators to keep working. It’s not terrible to enforce these rules as long as it’s been equally stated for everyone. Punishing hard-working creators for breaking newly made rules without warning is heavily demotivating. The feeling gets worse when a few channels get punished for breaking the rules, but other channels are never enforced at all.

The Downfall of Gaming Content on YouTube

Callisto Protocol

One of the most recent horror games was Callisto Protocol, a spiritual successor to Dead Space. The game has varied detailed death animations, bloody gore, and violence throughout the game. Many YouTubers who made videos about the game had their videos struck by the demonetization hammer. The game was entirely age-restricted without question, even if the violence was edited or censored.

This strict act could negatively influence how horror can improve its grotesqueness. Showing gore or dead bodies will risk the game’s existence on the social platform. How the policy states the limited gore is too broad for anyone to understand how far a horror game could be scary and violent, limiting its creative designs. Such a drastic policy change will demotivate gamers to try any game deemed too violent for viewers to witness. Youtube is an opportunity for many games to gain popularity and hype for the audience. These new rules can force developers to be more cautious about what’s appropriate in their games. 

The New Age of Youtube

Youtube has been passionate about making every video more advertiser-friendly and appropriate for kids. There’s a huge disconnect between the platform and content creators while miscommunicating with their representatives. This problem seems to worsen for the company as they do little to fix such troublesome issues. The scary part is how Youtube will keep managing its policies for the company’s benefit rather than for content creators who grow the platform. If this keeps up, it could force more creative YouTubers to consider leaving.

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