We tested fifteen thousand common words and phrases against YouTube’s bots, one by one, and determined which of those words will cause a video to be demonetized when used in the title.
If we took a demonetized video and changed the words “gay” or “lesbian” to “happy” or “friend”, every single time, the status of the video changed to advertiser-friendly.
YouTube’s apparently unassailable dominance over web video is a real shame. I dream of a world where web video is like podcasts: a decentralized system where anyone can participate without ceding control to a giant corporation with black box policies.
Monetization is already going the way of podcasts: crowd-funding and ad reads. Big video creators just can’t afford to trust that YouTube’s ever-changing policies will be on their side. The next step is decentralizing distribution, which seems like a harder problem to solve. But we’ve done it before: let’s bring back video podcasts. Let me get my video subscriptions in my RSS reader. Let’s take video away from YouTube and give it back to the web.