The political war for YouTube advertisement revenue

Robert Naylor, Contributing Writer

Over the past few months, the Wall Street Journal has waged a war on YouTube content creators, most notably the worldwide famous YouTuber PewDiePie, in hopes of bringing attention to YouTube’s “presence” of neo-Nazis. The campaign has been launched with the belief that a growing fascist regime has been gaining a presence on YouTube. As such worries have begun to influence the political realm, many YouTubers have started reporting on the Wall Street Journal, specifically on how it has begun reaching out to advertisers to influence massive sweeps of demonetization.

To readers who are slightly confused on the terms I have used above, I’ll break it down for clarification. YouTubers create videos/content on their own time; they don’t get paid to do this, and therefore they don’t make a direct income based on their work. Once a video is uploaded, ads start running on the videos, which in turn provides the content creators with a revenue stream. As you can imagine, the higher the views, the more people see the advertisement, and in return, the more money the original content creator makes. Now imagine that you’ve put hours of work into your video. You start earning your expected ad revenue, but suddenly someone reports your content as inappropriate. All those hours you put into your work have now been wasted, and your video has been slapped with the demonetization hammer.

Conservative YouTube content creators have seen the biggest rise of demonetization, essentially the modern-day censorship for private individuals, due to their expression of beliefs that go against the desired social justice agenda. Corporations such as PepsiCo, Walmart, DISH Network, and many more are pulling their ads to remove “hate speech” from internet society.

To provide additional context, take for example the case of Louder with Crowder and The Young Turks. Louder with Crowder is a conservative news outlet, which started up as a radio talk show. Due to the FCC guidelines for radio, Louder with Crowder strays away from using inappropriate language to cover given topics. In the case of The Young Turks, we see a much more liberal usage of language practices while covering a similar range of topics. Using this foul language to seem more “cool,” The Young Turks, as you would imagine, would be suspect to similar demonetization sweeps as Louder with Crowder—wrong. Their content is entirely free to watch in restricted mode, and additionally, certain topics, which are demonetized for Louder with Crowder, are not demonetized for The Young Turks. Explanation: one source belongs to the conservative wing, the other belongs to the liberal wing, and this is exactly what advertisers want.

To bring this together, the Wall Street Journal is, in my opinion, incentivizing corporations to pull their ads from YouTube, not to combat a political agenda, but more likely to help line their own pockets. As we all know, newspapers have been receiving less and less money due to the digitalized era in which we now live. If advertisements are being removed from the controversial YouTube website, corporations are surely destined to invest in advertising somewhere else. While many people are shifting the blame to YouTube, we need to understand that the website itself is being hurt the most by this pull of advertisement. Although YouTube is complying with these demonetization sweeps on behalf of advertiser demands, we need to understand that they are doing this simply to remain existent. The true question should remain, how can websites such as YouTube resist the capitalistic demands of corporate America? Only time will tell.

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