YouTube, the video-sharing platform owned by Google, is just starting to relax a draconian policy of demonetizing videos related to the Wuhan coronavirus, which was today declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The clampdown will remain in place for most channels.YouTube said on March 4 that it would automatically demonetize (i.e, strip ad revenue) from all videos related to the Wuhan coronavirus. It is also using its homepage to direct users to official videos from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the WHO. Google has also enacted top-down control on its main search engine, where coronavirus-related searches are now met with an official “SOS alert,” with results from the CDC and WHO at the top of search results, after the mainstream media. Automatic demonetization on YouTube is effectively a form of soft censorship, as creators on the platform will be reluctant to spend time and effort on videos that they know will earn them no ad revenue. Phillip DeFranco, a major YouTube creator who often creates videos about current affairs, called YouTube out on the automatic demonetization policy yesterday, prompting a response from CEO Susan Wojcicki. In an announcement today, YouTube said it… Read full this story
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