Not suitable for most advertisers

You may have heard of the YouTube “adpocalypse”, in which countless videos and channels being demonetised, many to the point of threatening some video creators’ livelihoods by depriving them of vital ad revenue. Well, it turns out that not even our delightful selves are immune to the commercial ban hammer …

Fortunately, we don’t rely on our content to provide us with an income, which is just as well, really; so far we’ve accrued less than a fiver (seriously) in revenue, which works out to be about a pound per year that we’ve been doing this (and, in all honesty, we only enabled ads in the first place because we figured if the least annoying and obtrusive ones could net us enough for a couple of packs of Hob Nobs then why the hell not?!).

As such, we don’t have too much of a problem with YouTube changing its rules on content suitability for advertising; it is, after all, their platform, and advertisers do have a right to say that they don’t want to pay to have their products and services advertising on videos or channels that they don’t agree with or are contrary to their brand or values. We wouldn’t want to pay for our stuff to be used for things we don’t agree with either …

What we do take issue with is, firstly, like many things YouTube do, it’s been implemented in a very ham-fisted, bull-in-a-china-shop way that risks depriving many content creators of revenue on which they’ve previously depended, and provides little to no scope for challenging decisions for creators with smaller audiences (manual reviews are only possible on videos with over 1,000 views in the last 7 days).

And, secondly, we have a problem with the astonishing inconsistency of how the policy is applied, and their broad, diffuse, and borderline stupid definition as to what constitutes “not suitable for most advertisers” when it comes to content.

So, what videos of ours have been deemed “unsuitable” (bearing in mind, of course, that many of our videos are simply our songs played to a static cover image)? Well, we already know that “Stop Killing People, You Twats” was demonetised almost immediately upon release last year (presumably because, in YouTube world, having a picture of ISIS over a song telling them not to murder people is a controversial opinion), but here, purely for your entertainment, is a list of what YouTube now considers commercially unfriendly:

  • The Laughing Electorate
    We can kind of understand this, it’s got a couple of “fucks” in it and most advertisers are squeamish about the F-word
  • Piers Morgan Is A Cock
    Again, fair enough, we get it, the language is pretty hostile (although, in our defence, come on it’s Piers fucking Morgan!!)
  • Drat The Peelers
    Wait, what?! We know this is meant to be a chap-hop take on gangsta rap, as well as being a satire on the upper classes’ attitude towards the police, but there’s no language in it at all, it’s the most polite thing we’ve ever written, and it’s hardly controversial to imply that the police aren’t the brightest bunch in the world. The entirety of British light entertainment output since World War II has been built around this premise!
  • Don’t Tell Anyone I’m A Spy
    Wait, what? Again, there’s no swearing, and it’s not in the least bit contentious to suggest James Bond’s narcissistic tendency to identify himself at every opportunity makes him supremely rubbish at his job
  • Keep Calm and Carry On
    Fair enough, every line contains a “fuck”, and accusing 52% of the population of being in complete denial about how Brexit will utterly fuck the country does rather alienate a lot of the customers an advertiser might be trying to reach
  • One Million Twats
    The title probably clobbered this one but, again, in our defence, what else would you call a large group of people who support the right to violently assault a co-worker with impunity?
  • Oh, Nigel Farage!
    Wait, what? The only swear word in it is “tit”, and it’s not much a matter of debate as to whether Farage is a xenophobe, or was (at the time) in charge of a party of bigots. Alright, fine, advertisers have got no spine, we get it {grumble grumble}
  • The Ballad of Dick Littledick
    Yeah, fair enough, it’s a bit sweary (but with entirely good reasons – it’s Richard fucking Littlejohn)
  • Who Said You Could Die, You Bastard?!
    Again, the title probably clobbered this, but COME ON, REALLY???!!
  • Fuck Facebook
    No surprises here!
  • Merry Christmas (God Is Imaginary)
    Gee, we wonder why this is considered controversial?!
  • Why Can’t Jeremy Clarkson Just Fuck Off?
    They’re just nit-picking now, aren’t they? It’s a legitimate question!

The rest of our videos are fine, apparently, and haven’t been demonetised as “unsuitable”. So, let’s have a look at what’s in that list, shall we?

  • Mad Rad-Fem
    In which we criticise some of the more extreme elements of the feminist movement, a move which can often get you accused by some of being a rape-committing, rape-apologist, rape-culture, rapey rape rapist, hounded out of your job, and beaten with sticks, let alone having your video demonetised
  • The Atheist Hymn
    Apparently making fun of the religious straw-man argument that atheism is a faith is perfectly acceptable
  • Disco Bitch
    … and so is a song about a woman who violently defends her place on the dance-floor
  • Knifecrime Island
    Songs about honeymooners stabbing each other in order to satisfy a murderous itch they can’t scratch due to the absence of guns? That’s fine!
  • The Music Box Massacre
    Giving a demonic toy to a child that results in a satanic Armageddon over the whole earth? Go right ahead!
  • We Love The E.D.L
    Either YouTube have correctly ascertained from carefully examining the lyrics that we’re mocking fascism and supporting disco-based anti-nationalist movements, but have given it a title to imply the opposite, OR, being a right-wing racist thug is fine for advertisers
  • Seven Shades
    Nothing controversial or sensitive about “Fifty Shades of Grey” (talking about soft-porn stories that pass off abuse as a BDSM relationship is fine, it seems)
  • Fuck Facebook (rehearsal)
    Original version? Boo! Rehearsal version? Yup, that’s fine!
  • Bono
    Telling rock’s messiah to fuck off? No problem!
  • #KatieMustGo
    Calling a radio host and columnist “a sour festering sack of bile” and urging people to vote Labour so she’ll emigrate? Knock yourselves out!
  • Who Said You Could Die, You Bastard?! (acoustic)
    Original version? Filth! Acoustic version? Fine!
  • The Pig Society
    “David Cameron fucked a pig” … that’s totally alright to have adverts on!
  • Love In The Time Of Fundamentalism
    Mocking, in no uncertain terms, Islam for its misogyny, Christianity for its homophobia, far-right movements for their racism, and radical feminism for its transphobia … it’s a perfect foursome of controversy, but, no, that’s completely ad-safe!
  • #RikCon2016
    Every swear-word used, mostly by Lee Cornes, totally fine!
  • Forever And A Day
    A love song about stalking a lady, then kidnapping and imprisoning her in a dungeon in order to get her skin? Fine!
  • President Fart
    Comparing the leader of the free world to a burst of bum gas? No problem with that!

UPDATED: Some of the demonetised videos – have now been re-monetised – and one or two videos previously considered acceptable are apparently no longer so. No idea what the hell’s going on, we certainly didn’t prompt it … good old YouTube consistency, huh?