Independent producers of videos and podcasts rely on ad revenue generated by their work that is posted on YouTube. Videos and podcasts featured on YouTube are de-monetized, which is to say that those posting the video receive no income from ads. Independent producers of news videos, including Spero News, have noted a troublesome trend concerning their work that appears on YouTube.

Spero News recently received an email that noted that two of its videos have been de-monetized by YouTube, which is owned by Google. Both consisted exclusively of clips taken from Fox News interviews with transparency advocate Julian Assange. Assange has become a hero to those advocating for transparency in government, while he has been vilified, for example, by supporters of Hillary Clinton because of emails released by his organization, WikiLeaks, that revealed embarrassing information on Clinton’s presidential campaign and operations.

In the case of Spero News, a March 26, 2017, email from YouTube advised that a video titled, “Julian Assange: Obama would prosecute Deep Throat and Woodrow Bernstein" had been de-monetized. The message reads as follows:

“Thanks for submitting your video(s) for monetization. We didn't approve your video(s) for monetization because the content in your video(s) or video details may not be advertiser-friendly.

“If you believe that the content in your video is advertiser-friendly, you can request an additional review below: ‘Julian Assange: Obama would prosecute Deep Throat and Woodrow Bernstein’"

“Please note that review times may vary, and YouTube reserves the right to make the final decision whether to monetize a video. All videos are subject to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines, and may be removed from the site if they don't meet those standards.”

Here below is another example of a missive from YouTube advising a video producing that his work would be stripped of advertisements:

Similarly, other websites have noted restrictive actions by YouTube. According to The Firearms Blog, which has a YouTube channel titled TFB TV, all videos concerning firearms on the site have been flagged as restricted material. It said that the demonetization of videos will affect revenue for the creators of free video, and may cause some YouTube channels to go offline.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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