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Lack of Transparency from Youtube

 

 

Cordova, TN; January 1, in the year of our Lord 2018--Family Friendly Gaming, the industry leader in covering the family friendly video games is bringing up an important issue to the millions upon millions of readers in Family Friendly Gaming Universe. This issue is the lack of transparency from Youtube. You might have heard about Youtube cracking down on content creators because some liberals were offended that hate speech groups had advertisements on their videos. Since that happened Youtube has created some program that checks videos and automatically demonetizes them if Youtube thinks it might be offensive. What is offensive though? Really what are the kinds of things that should fall under the umbrella of being offensive? Here is how Youtube defines it:

Controversial issues and sensitive events: Video content that features or focuses on sensitive topics or events including, but not limited to, war, political conflicts, terrorism or extremism, death and tragedies, sexual abuse, even if graphic imagery is not shown, is generally not suitable for ads. For example, videos about recent tragedies, even if presented for news or documentary purposes, may not be suitable for advertising given the subject matter.

Drugs and dangerous products or substances: Video content that promotes or features the sale, use, or abuse of illegal drugs, regulated drugs or substances, or other dangerous products is not suitable for advertising. Videos discussing drugs or dangerous substances for educational, documentary, and artistic purposes are generally suitable for advertising, so long as drug use or substance abuse is not graphic or glorified.

Harmful or dangerous acts: Video content that promotes harmful or dangerous acts that result in serious physical, emotional, or psychological injury is not suitable for advertising. Some examples include videos depicting painful or invasive surgical or cosmetic procedures, or pranks involving sexual harassment or humiliation.

Hateful content: Video content that promotes discrimination or disparages or humiliates an individual or group of people on the basis of the individual’s or group’s race, ethnicity or ethnic origin, nationality, religion, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization is not suitable for advertising. Content that is satire or comedy may be exempt; however, simply stating your comedic intent is not sufficient and that content may still not be suitable for advertising.

Inappropriate language: Video content that contains frequent uses of strong profanity or vulgarity throughout the video may not be suitable for advertising. Occasional use of profanity won’t necessarily result in your video being unsuitable for advertising, but context matters.

Inappropriate use of family entertainment characters: Videos depicting family entertainment characters or content, whether animated or live action, engaged in violent, sexual, vile, or otherwise inappropriate behavior, even if done for comedic or satirical purposes, are not suitable for advertising.

Incendiary and demeaning: Video content that is gratuitously incendiary, inflammatory, or demeaning may not be suitable for advertising. For example, video content that shames or insults an individual or group may not be suitable for advertising.

Sexually suggestive content: Video content that features highly sexualized content, such as video content where the focal point is nudity, body parts, or sexual simulations, is not suitable for advertising. Content that features sex toys, sexual devices, or explicit conversation about sex may also not be suitable for advertising, with limited exceptions for non-graphic sexual education videos.

Violence: Video content where the focal point is on blood, violence, or injury, when presented without additional context, is not suitable for advertising. Violence in the normal course of video gameplay is generally acceptable for advertising, but montages where gratuitous violence is the focal point is not. If you're showing violent content in a news, educational, artistic, or documentary context, that additional context is important.


From this page - https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6162278?hl=en

Would you believe that Family Friendly Gaming has had hundreds of videos identified as offensive to advertisers. In fact there are many days where every single video we upload is targeted by the Youtube robot. Why is that? We have been asking Youtube for months now with no answer. The super majority of the videos are reinstated after we appeal the programs mistakes. That was until recently. What happened recently? Recently we started getting videos manually confirmed. That is what the message says. Supposedly a real live person at Youtube looks at the video and confirms that it is offensive to advertisers based on the above criteria. There is no message telling us what exactly is being defined or redefined by this mystery person as offensive. Here are some videos that have been declared offensive by Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXqkZ0CHtIo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ee27NK0_eaM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJhr7gqhbgU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qEExCUv5ao
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3O0Bi8sq24
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RR0I6IIpyg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09B801hFE1k
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odb_ZMfaTR0

For videos that have multiple different episodes, the other episodes are fine. This is really odd in my opinion. Youtube fails to reveal what exact content they are finding offensive. This lack of transparency hurts their image. They are such a large mega corporation that we already have little trust in them. Their program has been horrible at identifying offensive content in videos. In fact we have had hundreds of videos falsely identified since they rolled out the program. Now someone is agreeing with that faulty and flawed program. This makes it even more dangerous. We are struggling to get by and the ad revenue helps us get by each and every month. Are we being punished because we are Christians? Is Youtube violating the First Amendment? Are we being discriminated against because we are conservatives? Read the transcripts of those videos and you will see we are not discussing any controversial topics. Youtube needs to clean this up and fast.

Paul Bury
Family Friendly Gaming

{UPDATE}: Attempted to work with Youtube support (which turns out to be Google support), and they have made all kinds of suggestions not related to the problem at hand. Our confidence in confirmed by manual review is even lower now.

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