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YouTube Demonetizing Counter-Strike Frag Movies for Being “Violent”

A couple of months back, there was an outcry from content creators over YouTube demonetizing their Call of Duty: WWII videos in light of new policies. Now, it appears that the tweaked algorithm of the popular video-sharing platform has shifted its focus towards Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

In the case of Call of Duty: WWII, it was the World War II setting that made it “inappropriate for advertising.” In the case of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it is the “violent” nature of the game that is a concern for the system.

However, there is a vague silver line at work here. YouTube is only going after frag movies or montages created by the Counter-Strike community. Other content for the game, including general gameplay or commentary, have so far remained untouched.

“Video content where the focal point is on blood, violence, or injury, when presented without additional context, is not eligible for advertising,” reads the content guidelines posted by YouTube. “Violence in the normal course of video gameplay is generally acceptable for advertising, but montages where gratuitous violence is the focal point is not.”

How does one differentiate violence from a normal gameplay footage and a highlight reel? A frag movie is essentially recorded footage of that very normal gameplay, but prettied up with special effects and a soundtrack to make the moment feel epic. However, content creators wanting to monetize their Counter-Strike frag movies must now post them without any cinematic editing. According to YouTube, the editing aspect brings focus to the violence and blood featured in the game.

In Match, YouTube introduced “brand safety controls” for advertisers to avoid “higher risk content.” The move followed shortly after the controversial beef between PewDiePie and the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, which forced a number of major advertisers and brands to pull out.