The CEO of Google-owned YouTube, Neal Mohan, defended the platform’s recent decision to demonetize Russell Brand following sexual assault allegations against the comedian, claiming they’re “not playing favorites” regardless of who the person is.
Mohan said that users can be suspended from monetization due to “off-platform news,” which puts “the broader creator ecosystem” at risk of being “damaged.”
“If creators have off-platform behavior, or there’s off-platform news that could be damaging to the broader creator ecosystem, you can be suspended from our monetization program,” Mohan told CBS Mornings.
“It’s impacted a number of creators and personalities on the platform in the past,” the YouTube CEO added.
“And that’s what played out in this particular case around the serious allegations,” he added.
When asked how YouTube decides to demonetize an account before due process, like the case with Russell Brand, the YouTube CEO said:
“We endeavor to apply those rules equally across our entire creator ecosystem.
The YouTube CEO then insisted the platform was “not playing favorites.”
“Not playing favorites, having them apply to the content, the behavior, as opposed to who the person is,” he said.
However, Mohan’s claim that the platform is not playing favorites is up for debate.
There are indeed many times the platform has “played favorites.”
For instance, YouTube demonetized a conservative channel after it published a video of various instances where democrats challenged and denied election results.
Earlier this year, YouTube also began removing content featuring or merely reviewing the movie Sound Of Freedom for ‘violating community guidelines.’
Former Navy SEAL and CIA Contractor Shawn Ryan posted a series of screenshots from their YouTube account dashboard showing a 2-and-a-half-minute preview video of an upcoming interview with The Sound of Freedom star Jim Caviezel was removed.
YouTube also stated that content titled ‘Actor Jim Caviezel Unveils Dark Truths Behind The Trafficking Of Children’ was not ‘eligible’ for monetization.
There seems to be a pattern with whom YouTube chooses to demonetize.
YouTube said it suspended the Russell Brand’s monetization on the platform to “protect” its users.
“We have suspended monetization on Russell Brand’s channel for violating our creator responsibility policy,” the platform announced Tuesday.
“If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community.”
Brand has denied the allegations, saying in a video posted on X, formerly Twitter, that his relationships have been “always consensual.
The comedian said he has always been transparent about his previous relationships being consensual, suggesting “mainstream media outlets are making a coordinated attack” against him.
“These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies, and as I’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous,” he said.
This is happening pic.twitter.com/N8zIKLbJN2— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) September 15, 2023
The news comes after major advertisers, including Burger King, Asos, and HelloFresh, pulled their advertising budgets from Rumble following the allegations against Brand.
Burger King said it had paused advertising with the platform, while Asos said it had manually removed its ads from Rumble.
Meanwhile, the UK parliament asked Rumble why they have not demonetized the comedian’s channel.