As a YouTuber, you’re a brand ambassador for the platform. Even though you aren’t technically employed by YouTube, you have gained money and influence through your use of the platform. Therefore, your public image reflects on the company’s brand. You’ve probably encountered at least one person who reacted negatively upon learning you were a YouTuber, regardless of what you’re actually like. Many people have developed negative views of YouTube and its creators because of the vloggers who create headlines with their misdeeds and poor behavior.
Recently, YouTube has begun to crack down on these creators in order to protect its reputation. The platform’s most recent effort is the Creator Responsibility Initiative.
Here’s what you need to know about it.
One creator’s behavior can impact the entire global network of creators.
Whenever you upload a video to YouTube, you never know who could be watching. Someone who’s never left their tiny hometown could upload a video one day and have the entire world watching it the next. However, the world would be watching that person’s actions off of the platform too. YouTubers are called “influencers” for a reason.
You’ve no doubt seen headlines about big-name YouTubers doing horrible things. However, for many people who don’t spend a lot of time on YouTube, these awful news stories are often all they know about YouTubers as a whole. They harm the reputation of both the platforms and its other creators. One person’s actions could turn people away from the platform, make advertisers decide to pull all their ads, or prevent companies from wanting to work with any YouTubers in the future.
Your behavior outside of the platform can result in consequences for your channel.
The main caveat of the Creator Responsibility Initiative is that YouTube holds the right to demonetize or suspend your channel at will. Even if every single video you upload follows the Community Guidelines to a T, your channel could be suspended because of someone you did on another social media platform or in real life. YouTube doesn’t take this lightly, however; they have a team of experts who work together to make the best decision.
YouTube will take action against any creator whose behavior “harms our users, community, employees or ecosystem.” This applies to your behavior both on and off the platform. You can find a more detailed list here.
YouTube could also restrict a creator’s content in other ways.
YouTube doesn’t limit itself to either demonetization or channel suspension. Other consequences might include having your videos blocked from users’ recommendations, losing the support of your YouTube Partner Program manager, and being banned from YouTube Spaces and future events. Any combination of these consequences could be temporary or, in some cases, permanent.
However, the consequences won’t just come from YouTube. A creator could lose the support of their sponsors, their fans, and their creator friends. Everything you worked for could be gone in an instance because of a bad choice you made.
As the saying goes, one bad apple ruins the whole bunch. Therefore, as a creator, it’s vital that you take responsibility for your behavior both on and off YouTube and act as a good representative for your platform.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.