YouTube reveals guidelines on punishing 'harmful' creators after latest Logan Paul fiasco

Google's video platform YouTube is taking steps to clearly outline the punishments that will be dealt out when creators step out of line with "egregious actions" that are "harmful" to the YouTube community, advertisers, and viewers as a whole. A new set of policies have been revealed in what can be seen as part of a wider response to controversial creator Logan Paul, who has found himself in hot water yet again only a week after his return to vlogging following the Japanese Aokigahara forest incident.

The policies clearly target a YouTube creator's ability to make money and gain further popularity on the platform. If YouTube finds that a channel is causing "widespread harm" to the community, it has the right to remove the creator from its Google Preferred and YouTube Partner Programs, as well as pull their ability to show ads and earn revenue. The creator's videos may also be banned from appearing on the YouTube home page, trending section, and watch next tab, making it very difficult for anyone beyond existing followers to find their content.

When referring to harm to the "community," YouTube describes its community as including "advertisers, the media industry, and most importantly, the general public," but the harder question is exactly what kind of content is deemed "harmful" and warrants such punishments? YouTube VP Ariel Bardin attempts to provide clear examples, such as a "heinous prank where people are traumatized," or content that "promotes violence or hate toward a group, demonstrates cruelty or sensationalizes the pain of others in an attempt to gain views or subscribers."

YouTube has always had the rights to take these kinds of actions, but up until recently has maintained a mostly hands-off approach as the platform has ballooned in popularity over the years. The company promised stricter policies against problematic creators following the widespread backlash over Paul's videos showing a recent trip to Japan.

As Paul has already demonstrated his inability to learn from his mistakes — posting videos over the last week of abusing dead and sick animals and encouraging viewers to eat Tide Pods — YouTube has doled out increased punishment. On top of previously removing him from Google Preferred and dropping all plans for his own original programs, YouTube says it has temporarily suspended all ad revenue on the his channels.