YouTube has formalized into policy several of the actions it took last week against the controversial vlogger Logan Paul, who continued to engage in objectionable conduct even after igniting an internet firestorm by vlogging the body of a suicide victim in January.
In order to prevent a situation, like Paul’s, where “one creator’s actions harm the entire community,” YouTube has announced three new potential punishments, writes VP of product management Ariel Bardin in a new blog post. These include: removal from the company’s premium Google Preferred ad tier or the cancellation of a YouTube Red original series; the suspension of ads — and even permanent expulsion from the YouTube Partner Program; and the removal of a channel’s ability to be recommended on the home page, trending tab, or ‘watch next’.
When Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg made anti-Semitic jokes last year, he faced the first punishment — as did Paul, who was subsequently subjected to the second last week when YouTube temporarily suspended all ads across both of his channels.
In a new page within its Help Center, outlining ways in which top creators can “use their influence responsibly,” YouTube notes that the length and severity of the punishment will vary on a case-by-case basis. “If the action is egregious, repeated, or coupled with malicious intent, it may result in stricter or longer repercussions.”
YouTube says the new consequences will be doled out when top-tier creators conduct heinous or traumatizing pranks, promote violence or hate toward a particular group of people, demonstrate cruelty, or sensationalize the pain of others in order to gain subscribers or views. Thse broader policies will live on top of the platform’s existing Community Guidelines and Ad-Friendly Guidelines, writes Bardin, and “can be used more quickly and effectively than the current system of guidelines and strikes.” YouTube acknowledged that, in the past, its responses to situations like Paul’s “were slow and didn’t always address our broader community’s concerns.”
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki hinted earlier this month that new policies were in the works to prevent the platform’s biggest homegrown stars from creating broader harm to viewers, fellow creators, and advertisers alike.