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YouTube demonetised harmless content while cutting off ads for extremist content

In its ongoing efforts to make content advertiser and crack down on hateful content, YouTube has been flagging harmless videos that contain sensitive keywords. Earlier this week, YouTube demonetised AskDrBrown, a Christian ministry's channel, flagging its content as unsuitable for advertisers as well as users. In a statement issued on their website, Brown stated that they are “rejoicing in the opposition we have received”, and that “we will not be silenced”. The ministry said that several of its videos — even innocuous ones — had been flagged just because a few contained keywords like 'KKK' in their titles or descriptions. Why YouTube is demonetising videos Earlier this year, YouTube announced the implementation of a broader policy of demonetising accounts which had “content that is harassing or attacking people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories”. This policy came after reports that advertisers were funding extremist groups, with individual ad revenue as high as £250,000. This led to an international advertisers' boycott against YouTube, which reportedly lost Google $750 million in revenue. A similar incident resulted in pro wrestling channels being categorised as 'inappropriate', resulting in most wrestling-related videos being demonetised. Following backlash from the pro wrestling community, which relied heavily on revenue from YouTube, wrestling videos were unflagged. However, wrestling still falls under the “restricted category”, which means that these videos are not discoverable without turning SafeSearch off. Recovering from the boycott Last week, Verizon, which advertised heavily on YouTube before the boycott, announced that they would resume purchasing video ads, after boycotting the streaming service for five months. More…

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