Can You Help Me Crack the YouTube Code? You Get a Free Gift If You Can!

By Michael Brown Published on November 23, 2018

I’ve been tracking this for more than a year now, and I still can’t make rhyme or reason of how YouTube enforces its policies. Perhaps you can help me figure things out? If you can, there’s a free gift waiting for you.

In case you’re not aware, in August 2017, I reported that “YouTube Just Demonetized Hundreds of Our Videos,” meaning that they marked the videos (roughly 900 of them!) as “Not suitable for all advertisers.”

Over time, after manual review, most of the videos were approved while others were confirmed as not suitable. But the pattern was unpredictable, leading me to announce this past July that, “I Cannot Make Any Sense Out of YouTube’s Policies.”

What’s the Logic?

Since then, the pattern, if there is one, is quite inscrutable. Why does one video get approved and another video get disqualified? Based on what criteria?

I’m quite aware that certain videos awill be deemed too controversial for all advertisers. But other videos contain no offensive or controversial content.

My only conclusion is that it all depends on the person doing the manual review.

But even if that were true, the logic behind the decisions is beyond comprehension. Are there no internal guidelines that are followed?

To be sure, I appreciate every video that is approved after manual review, even if there was no reason for the video to be flagged in the first place. And I’m quite aware that certain videos will be deemed too controversial for all advertisers. At the same time, I’m quite aware that other videos contain no offensive or controversial content. Why, then, do they get demonetized?

Some Get Approved

Here are some recent examples. These videos were all approved for all advertisers after manual review:

Again, these videos were all approved as “Suitable for all advertisers” after manual review, which I do appreciate.

What of Those ‘Not Suitable’?

But the following videos were not approved after manual review, including these two, which I could possibly understand.

So, perhaps there’s a reason for these two videos to remain demonetized after manual review. But how in the world were these videos deemed unsuitable for all advertisers?

  • The Amazing Story of David and Don Wilkerson (In this inspirational and enjoyable video, I interviewed Don Wilkerson’s daughter Julie Klose. We talked about her new book, which tells the amazing story of the birth of Teen Challenge, the world’s most effective drug-rehab ministry. This was not suitable for all advertisers?)
  • Brown Takes Your Calls (Yes, this video, answering random questions from my listeners and callers, did not pass the manual review. Meanwhile, many other shows, just like this, were deemed suitable for all advertisers. Why, why, why?)
  • You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers (Exactly the same as the previous video!)

Perhaps You Can Crack the Code

Again, we are not on YouTube to make money. We are on YouTube to get our message out and to help equip each of you. And any income that does come in goes right back into our non-profit ministry.

More importantly, to date, none of our videos have been banned or removed by YouTube, which is also positive, and which I appreciate.

Unfortunately, when I have reached out to YouTube for clarification of their policies, I have received none. (To be clear, I have received responses from YouTube customer service. The responses, however, have been virtually useless and provided no guidance at all.)

Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic and Moral Issues of Our Day.

So, here’s how you can help. Perhaps you can find some thread of logic I’m missing. Perhaps you can crack the YouTube code (if, in fact, there is one). If you can, as a token of appreciation, we’ll send you five of my recent books as a gift.

Feel free to post your comments here, and, if you’re convinced that you’ve figured things out, write to us at If you’re the first to discover a coherent answer, you’ll get the gift package of books, with our appreciation.

Thanks for the teamwork and the interest in our videos. We’re here for you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
Racial Conflict and Scientific Racism
David Klinghoffer
More from The Stream
Connect with Us