YouTube Removing Some Videos Creators Say Were Intended To Raise BLM Funds Because They Violated Community Guidelines
The company has offered an alternative to the method of fundraising.
June 12, 2020 at 6:14 pm
YouTube is removing certain videos in which creators say they are donating revenue to support the Black Lives Matter movement because such behavior is a violation of community guidelines, according to Variety.
Several YouTube creators have uploaded videos in the past few weeks that they say will support Black organizations through the donation of their AdSense revenue. These videos are being used as a way for audiences to donate if they don't have the financial means to directly give. The problem, according to YouTube’s policy, is that some videos encourage viewers to watch the content multiple times or click the ads, which violates guidelines.
YouTube's community guidelines on fake engagement state that "content that solely exists to incentivize viewers for engagement (views, likes, comments, etc) is prohibited.”
“If your video encourages this behavior, it will be removed from YouTube,” the company said in an article on its help site. “You won’t be paid for the views and clicks, and advertisers will not be charged.”
“We consider engagement to be legitimate when a human user’s primary intent is to interact with content free of coercion or deception, or where the sole purpose of the engagement is financial gain,” the guidelines state.
According to the platform, any video that promotes fake engagement behavior, whether it’s in the title, description or within the actual content, will be removed, The Verge reported.
YouTube’s AdSense guidelines state that “publishers may not ask others to click or view their ads or use deceptive implementation methods to obtain clicks or views. This includes, but is not limited to, offering compensation to users for viewing ads or performing searches, promising to raise money for third parties for such behavior or placing images next to individual ads.”
If users searched for “Black Lives Matter playlist donate,” they could find a number of videos whose AdSense revenue would go toward Black organizations, but several of those videos have since been deleted or moved to private.
As an alternative, YouTube is encouraging creators to add the “donate” button to their videos, which about 40,000 creators have access to. This feature allows viewers to directly support an organization of the creator’s choice. Organizations must meet certain criteria, though, in order to be on the receiving end of the donate button. Requirements include being a U.S.-registered 501(c)(3) public charity and being a member of Google for Nonprofits. Those without access to the donate button can use end screens and links to fundraisers.
In light of the many removed videos, YouTube will be donating to social justice organizations.
"We stand in solidarity against racism and violence. When members of our community hurt, we all hurt. We're pledging $1M in support of efforts to address social injustice," a company statement read, according to Business Insider.
YouTube has not announced where exactly the money is going.
According to Variety, CEO Susan Wojcicki said the company has also created a $100 million fund that will focus on “amplifying and developing the voices of Black creators and artists and their stories” over a number of years.
“At YouTube, we believe Black lives matter and we all need to do more to dismantle systemic racism,” Wojcicki wrote in a blog post. “We’re committed to doing better as a platform to center and amplify Black voices and perspectives.”
YouTube’s Spotlight channel will be dedicated to racial justice issues throughout June.
Some are criticizing the company for speaking out against racism when it has allowed white supremacists and far-right radicalization videos on its platform, reports Business Insider. In June 2019, YouTube said it would be stricter regarding neo-Nazi and white supremacy videos, but these policies have not been enforced, as many expected.