Channels on YouTube are seeing channel and content removal and/or demonetization. We have observed a few of these side effects of the rapid YouTube platform changes since late 2017.

The changes were initiated due to the yellow monetization guidelines prompted by inappropriate content being filtered into the YouTube Kids app and advertisers leaving the platform, but some channels that are appropriate are also receiving negative consequences.

We have all realized that sometimes following the guidelines aren’t a foolproof way to avoid some of these problems, but it will undoubtedly help to prevent your channel from encountering problems related to the platform changes. For the channels following the rules, here are a few known possible causes of negative consequences being triggered by YouTube machine learning:

Rapidly rising view counts:
For videos that gain views rapidly in a way that is unusual for the channel, YouTube machine learning flags the video as possibly having spammed viewership. This causes the automatic system to give the channel a community strike and take down the video. Low community engagement on videos that are gaining views rapidly also contributes to this.

Accidental inappropriate content triggers:
Machine learning isn’t perfect, and it is still relatively new on YouTube. Sometimes the system gets confused trying to differentiate emojis and other metadata terms that are difficult to process without total context.

Keyword stuffing:
Creators that are adding video tags and titles that have nothing to do with the video has always been a Terms of Service violation, especially adding names of other channels and topics not featured in the video. But, sometimes a channel savvy at SEO can be picked up as being “scammy”, instead of using a smart related videos strategy.

Watch time and Subscriber thresholds:
Starting February 20, 2018, YouTube announced a new policy where channels under 1,000 subs and 4,000 watch hours (240,000 watch minutes) will be removed from the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). This replaces the recently enacted policy of required 10,000 lifetime views before joining the YPP. This caused many of these channels to lose monetization and be released from their MCNs by YouTube.

If you are a Screenwave partner following Ad policies and Terms of Service guidelines, but are still having trouble with some of these issues, please reach out to your channel contact.

See our Family Content post for more specific information about the intended changes.