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YouTube is demonetising videos about coronavirus

YouTubers are avoiding the subject of coronavirus because it may cause their ads to be shut off

Tech Desk March 05, 2020
While social media platforms are taking an active role in informing users about coronavirus, YouTubers are avoiding the subject because it may cause their ads to be shut off.

“For today’s video, I won’t be directly commenting on the recent health-related news because A, I am not a health care professional, and B, I don’t need my video demonetised,” Linus Sebastian, host of Linus Tech Tips, says at the beginning of recent video about buying a new PC in this period.

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The video-sharing platform has previously demonetised videos that contained content related to sensitive subjects and as per the company’s advertising guidelines sensitive topics — usually a recent event with a “loss of life, typically as a result of a pre-planned malicious attack” — are normally not suitable for advertising.

News channels can talk about sensitive topics in their videos because they run ads themselves.

Hence such videos are allowed to be on the platform but won’t be generating money and according to YouTube the epidemic of coronavirus is now being considered a sensitive topic. “As such, all videos focused on this topic will be demonetised until further notice,” Tom Leung, product officer at YouTube, said in a recent video.

Jonathan Downey, who has a popular gaming channel Spawn Wave, made a recent video about the Game Developers Conference shutting down and despite avoiding using the word “coronavirus” to keep his video monetised it did not work.

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“I made up abbreviations to say like CV, but it still gets tagged as unsuitable,” Downey tweeted.

“It was in a video about GDC being canceled, so maybe events affected by coronavirus being talked about can trigger their bot for review as well.”


Coronavirus is believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has spread around the world, infecting nearly 93,000 people globally as of March 3.

Recently, Facebook announced that it will provide free advertisements to the World Health Organisation (WHO) as it seeks to ensure users are not misinformed about the virus.

This article originally published on The Verge.


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