Last month, YouTube had to exercise its policies against YouTube star Logan Paul after he uploaded a disturbing video featuring a dead body in Japan's suicide forest. After the company removed his video from its platform, it also cut off ties with the YouTuber, and announced changes to its content vetting and monetization policies to take action against "bad actors".
But it now appears that after the publication of some more egregious videos by Logan Paul - which include tasering a dead rat, taking a fish out of water and giving it CPR, and encouraging his followers to take part in the Tide Pod challenge - the company needs to take further action against harmful content creators. YouTube has done this in the form of updating its policies to clarify what it constitutes as harmful content, and how channels which upload it will be dealt with.
In a blog post, YouTube announced new consequences for content creators who upload content that is harmful for the entire community, the media, and advertisers. It stated that egregious content does not only harm the people mentioned above, but it can also impact other content creators in the shape of lost revenue, which can affect their livelihoods.
As such, YouTube will be taking strict actions against content creators which publish videos that are injurious to the entire community. These include content promoting hate and violence against a particular group, exhibiting cruelty, sensationalizing the pain of others for the shock value, and conducting pranks which "traumatize" the ones being pranked.
Although YouTube already issues strikes against such channels, it will now be going a few steps further by removing offending channels from the lucrative Google Preferred platform, and suspending or canceling the creator's YouTube Original. The company will also be suspending ad revenue streams for harmful channels, and will be able to remove them from the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) as well. Lastly, it may also choose to remove a channel's ability to be featured in the recommended section or the YouTube home page.
The company went on to say that:
We believe strongly in the freedom of expression and we know that the overwhelming majority of you follow the guidelines and understand that you’re part of a large, influential, and interconnected community. But we also know that we have a responsibility to protect the entire community of creators, viewers, and advertisers from these rare but often damaging situations. We expect to issue these new consequences only in a rare handful of egregious cases, but hope they will help us prevent the actions of a few from harming the broader community.
YouTube's moves have been appreciated by many influential YouTubers such as Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) and Seán William McLoughlin (Jacksepticeye), who have praised the firm for being transparent and taking strict action against damaging content creators.