YouTube Is Barring Gambling, Alcohol, Drugs, And Politics From Their Home Page Masthead

YouTube will no longer be displaying ads relating to alcohol, politics, gambling, and prescription drugs on its home page masthead.

The masthead slot is a coveted place for advertisements to be featured in. Essentially acting as a giant virtual billboard, the masthead slot is part of YouTube's home page, featured just under the Search bar and recommendation tags. The advertisements have ranged from all sorts of products, varying from country to country, and is often YouTube's first choice for parading it's own brand items (such as YouTubeTV or the now-extinct YouTube Red). The slot also generates a lot of revenue from the video-streaming platform's burgeoning advertising setup.

While YouTube hasn't elaborated on its reasoning for the recent restrictions, choosing to quietly update the masthead requirements webpage, one can make a pretty good guess or two. First of all, it's an easy way to avoid controversy. Politics are getting especially heated in places such as the USA, with the left and right embroiled in daily online vitriol. A prominent example can be found in the Capitol riots, the banning of Donald Trump from online platforms, and all the far right backlash that followed. By removing the element from YouTube's online space entirely, the company saves itself a lot of potential flack.

The other reason could be making that very online space more "kid-friendly". YouTube has notably been restricting the reach of many videos that have slightly mature content. The end goal with this is to attract larger advertisers and corporations to their site. By restricting gambling, alcohol, and drugs from the masthead, YouTube still keep those companies, while also giving incentives to bigger ones.

But, as is the case with any action, there will be a reaction. YouTube's policies have garnered near constant criticism from both content creators and the general community itself. The platform's selling out to corporations, while troubling in and of itself, also actively steps on the toes of others. Copyright claims and strikes occur more quickly, often result in disastrous restrictions of reach, and are exhausting to contest. Content that is age-restricted immediately gets booted off of the home page, regardless of its quality and relevance. YouTube may be pandering to larger corporations and agencies, but it's the general community that suffers as a result of it.

Read next: New features that can detect any copyright violations and prevent them in the middle of the uploading process are being added by YouTube

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