Chronically Fabulous · Femme

Why is Youtube Demonetising Disabled Creators?

Since YouTube brought in its new rules about monetisation a few months ago I’ve seen my some of my videos being declared ‘not suitable for all advertisers’ and having their adverts pulled. This means I’m loosing the money I would have earned from each view and is being applied to videos released far before the new algorithm! Disturbingly, demonetisation is predominantly happening to videos that are about or even just mention my disabilities!

Smoothies: a controversial topic.

Is living life with a disability really a sensitive or controversial issue, as the demonetisation guidelines suggest?

Adverts have also been pulled from many of the videos I make with my wife, Claudia, or videos in which I discuss being gay! Whilst it’s awful that LGBT videos are being targeted- especially since our videos are largely PG- I at least understand why it’s happening. Although the sexualisation of people outside of the heterosexual realm is horrific and wrong… at least it’s a reason.

Examples of Lesbian related videos demonetised on my channel.
But why are my disability-related videos being targeted?

My ‘disability’ videos targeted for demonetisation:

  • The video in which I explain part of my disability and give tips on living with a chronic illness.
  • This video that says we can still take pride in being disabled people.
  • The video where I question what ‘normal’ means anyway.
  • This video in which I share my experiences of partially loosing my eye sight but also say that you can go on to live well.
  • The video where I share my frustrations at being invited to an event to speak about disabilities but there being no disabled access.
  • This video with handy tips for beating nausea.
  • The video sharing what’s in my pillbox and how important it is to have a good system when you take daily medications.
  • This video about using a healthy diet to control symptoms.
  • This video that asks event organisers to consider disabled people’s needs.

That last video being picked up particularly annoyed me- I’m just asking that disabled people can be included! So I took to Twitter, tweeted the video’s tags and asked YouTube exactly which of them was setting off the algorithm. Was it “accessibility”? “Disabled friendly”? “Deaf”? “Wheelchair”?

This video is finally monetised after manual review
Tags that’ll make the $ icon go yellow!


Their response was ‘check our guidelines’ and then, when I said I had already done that, ‘check our guidelines.’

Thank you, that’s… so helpful.

If you check through you’ll see they’re monetised now… because they should not have been demonetised in the first place. Creators can only request that video demonetisation be manually checked if the video has gained 1,000 views in the last 7 days. Unfortunately this means a video will miss out on all of the money is could have earned before the manual review takes place. One of my most recent videos, Wife Does My Voiceover, gained it’s first 1,000 views in just a few hours and was only manually checked after going over 2,500. That’s a lot of potential revenue to miss out on!

YouTube and other online routes are a great opportunity for disabled people, since many of us would otherwise struggle to work. Equally, disabled voices having a platform to be heard is a good thing for non-disabled people. The best way for people who have no experience of disability to learn about it is from people who have disabilities. How can we normalise things if they’re being marked as ‘controversial’ or ‘incendiary’. Is it really controversial to be talking about daily life with a disability?

Why is this happening in the first place?

Other disabled creators who have faced this on YouTube include: Rikki Poynter, Andrea Lausell, Krystal-Bella Shaw, The Aspie World, Connopolis and the Invisible I. None of them have heard back on why this has happened either!

Here’s a link to YouTube’s guidelines, have a read through and let me know what you think. Why is this happening?

I’m calling on YouTube and its advertisers to be brave and recognise the power of disabled creators and the market for disability content. There are 13 million people with registered disabilities in the UK alone, with a spending power of over £200 billion. That’s a lot of money these companies could be missing out on due to short sighted prejudice.

ps. This video isn’t about disabilities or gayness, it’s about my puppy’s birthday present, but despite being adorable it was still demonetised!

UPDATE 20/09/17

Time to get angry at again… demonetising a video about in the middle of ? That’s low.