This week, without warning, Youtube disabled comments on any video featuring children (presumably anyone under age 18).
Further, Youtube has de-monitized (no longer allow advertising) on videos that have unacceptable comments. Seriously. In effect, Youtube is punishing creators for content over which they have little control – thus, even if videos do not feature children, creators are now thinking they need to disable comments on their own videos.
The reason for this is explained in this Youtube video. Pedophiles figured out how to exploit videos featuring children, and ads ran on these videos. In the past few days, major advertisers have abandoned Youtube (AT&T, Nestle, as examples). Once a viewer gets into these videos, Youtube’s viewing algorithm only recommends other similar videos with similar pedophile comments. Per the linked video, above, Youtube has known about this since at least 2017 and did nothing until 2019 when they lost ad revenue (such an ethical company!)
The odd impact of this is that in order to make Youtube family friendly, they just killed all of the family friendly Youtube channels, of which there are many. Plus, educational channels on topics such as children’s health, autism, learning and so forth, just got cut off. Further, comments are taken into consideration in the Youtube recommendations algorithm – no comments, little chance of your video being recommended or perhaps even appearing in search results.
Read this Twitter thread – a lot of people are appalled by Youtube’s new policy and view this as the beginning of the end for Youtube. Think of creators who’ve spent years building a subscriber base, and who rely on interaction with their viewers and advertising – their business has just been switched off by Youtube, and for many, in an arbitrary manner. Why would anyone now start a Youtube channel when Youtube and can and does terminate business opportunities without warning, and does so frequently?
Update: Youtube issues a mealy mouthed reply saying its temporary, perhaps, and they won’t stop ads on videos due to comments, but also issue a statement saying they are doing that. Everything is very confused about Youtube now.
It appears that the social media business model is imploding before our eyes.