Amid the ongoing “adpocalypse” affecting many video content creators, YouTube has admitted it doesn’t know why videos referencing LGBTQIA+ topics are being barred from any sort of monetisation, which is seriously affecting some gaming YouTubers.
According to Mari of the gaming channel GeekRemix, videos with the word “lesbian” in the title have automatically been flagged as going against YouTube’s requirements for monetisation, regardless of the actual content of the video.
Many GeekRemix videos, including animations, stream archives, scripted content, and episodes of Let’s Plays, have been affected. The vast majority – and all of the ones GeekRemix is challenging – are not explicit in nature (and are not in breach of YouTube’s community guidelines). Despite this, GeekRemix, whose income relies on YouTube ad revenue, is unable to make any money off of the affected work due to it being deemed unsuitable for advertisers by an automatic filter.
Since this has emerged, other YouTubers such as Mangaminx and AGirlAndAGame have also claimed that their videos have also been unmonetised for the same reason – despite AGirlAndAGame’s demonetised Life is Strange videos not even using any LGBTQIA+ words in its title. In an email to LPVG, Mari states that games about sexuality are not against YouTube’s own community guidelines, only showing sex is. Most the content flagged between all three channels do not show any intercourse or explicit footage, and so should not be falling foul of YouTube’s rules.
On contacting YouTube’s creator support, a representative confirmed to Mari that it is unknown why any suggestion of LGBTQIA+ themes in a video, regardless of its actual content, is enough to prevent content creators from earning money on their videos. They claim that the filters used for advertising on videos are devised by a team YouTube is unable to question or challenge.
After being pressed by Mari for an explanation, the representative said, “Honestly, we have no idea why the decisions are made that way”, before admitting that they themselves are “not against the LGBT community”.
Mari then points out that their feelings don’t change YouTube’s apparent stance on queer content, and that the site’s current policy of only accepting appeals for videos that have received more than 1000 views in the past week is impacting her channel’s previous work.
This is another incident in YouTube’s long-standing problems with supporting LGBTQIAA+ videos. Earlier this year, the site received backlash after non-explicit queer videos were hidden behind new filtering systems which hid “potentially inappropriate content” from users who had the filter enabled.