YouTube has taken a bold stance against videos that are considered “controversial religious and supremacist” although they might not violate the site’s terms of service.
“We’ll soon be applying tougher treatment to videos that aren’t illegal, but have been flagged by users as potential violations of our policies on hate speech and violent extremism,” YouTube said yesterday in a statement, “If we find that these videos don’t violate our policies, but contain controversial religious or supremacist content, they will be placed in a limited state.”
The “limited state” to which the company refers is one that will freeze the ability of videos to generate profit by hiding them behind an interstitial that won’t be recommended to users. Additionally flagged videos won’t be monetized, and will have key features removed including likes, comments, and suggested videos.
YouTube has instated the help of several experts who will be trusted to determine what content this new rule applies to. Several well known organizations have offered their assistance including the No Hate Speech Movement, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
“These organizations bring expert knowledge of complex issues like hate speech, radicalization, and terrorism that will help us better identify content that is being used to radicalize and recruit extremists,” YouTube said in a statement yesterday. “We will also regularly consult these experts as we update our policies to reflect new trends.”
This update announcement ironically came at the same time that PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg), the world’s most subscribed YouTuber, is seeing his company revenue climb. Kjellberg was fired from Maker Studios as well as his YouTube Red original series after making anti-semetic jokes this past February, but that has not appeared to slow down his earning.
Although his company profits dropped 90% between 2015–2016 (dropping from $8.6 million to $930,000) the profit drop does not necessarily signify a drop in interest in his content, in fact quite the opposite. Kjellberg is in the process of shifting production from Sweden to England following his creation of several British companies within the Pewdie Family. Although the British branch earnings have not yet been released, the production team’s Swedish financial statements noted that revenue for the company overall had “increased significantly” in comparison to the previous year.
It is still unclear how much Kjellberg controversial statements will affect his price point for 2017, it’s clear he’s not slowing down any time soon. Although, unless his content drastically changes, he should be spared from YouTube’s updated algorithm that will go into affect for both desktop and mobile versions within a month.