Everyone knows Youtube. Everyone probably HAS Youtube.
If I took a shot-in-the-dark guess, you’re probably watching Youtube right now.
When Google bought this video sharing site in 2007, it opened the floodgates of creators’ careers.
This site allows people to share almost any video they could think of and film. The more the views grew, the more money that came through.
That doesn't mean the site is perfect, though.
More often than not, you won’t be making money from the site anymore. They’ll demonetise ANYTHING that isn’t under their “family friendly” guidelines.
Look it up on Youtube itself, and you’ll see countless rant videos talking about their horrible management of the site.
And very often, the subject of “demonetization” comes up. It’s when a creator’s video gets “reviewed” by Youtube and loses its ability to make money off of it.
This is a huge problem in the Youtube sphere.
You could make a comedy skit about a politician and it’ll get demonetized, even though it falls under fair use of “commentary” and “parody.”
Or how about a video where you use 3 seconds of a song for a review?
That loses its monetization as well, even when, again, is under fair use under “review” and “critique.”
So, you may be thinking, with a site as guarded and “kid friendly” as Youtube, they would obviously have the same exact guideline for something like their ads.
Well, think again.
A rampant issue in 2021 on Youtube was their weird oversaturation of bad and misleading mobile game ads.
They’ve ranged to a completely different graphical style, to being down right sexual with it’s content.
And it didn’t get better with new games coming out.
In October of 2020, an old survival game called ‘Among Us’ had a big break on Youtube, and advertisers took notice- and not for the right reasons.
A lot of these companies were cheap flash game websites, and needed a way to promote their stuff, so, they took this simple game, edited (or downright stole) misleading and/or sexual pictures and used it as promotion material.
AND it’s more than just flash games.
It’s also with businesses too - yes, businesses - banking off of this game.
Ads like these and many others fall a bit more under the absurd category.
While there have been a couple of strange, sexualized ads for weird game ports, they are quite few and far between for this game.
To quickly mention, not all of them are bootlegs of popular games.
Sometimes, they’re from original properties, but animated and shown to people as something that game clearly isn’t.
One popular game that is notorious for this is Homescapes.
It’s a game where people renovate a house and play a match three games to win stars to fix it.
But, they advertise with very misleading ads for minigames that aren’t in the actual game.
And while these ads are down right misleading with their content, some of them are at least original. However, this isn’t the end of this case here.
All because of a small indie game called Friday Night Funkin’.
Popularized from a kickstarter to be a love letter to Newgrounds flash games, Friday Night Funkin’ is quite simple in premise.
You match arrows in a rhythm game fashion as someone named “Boyfriend,” in order to win the affection of someone named “Girlfriend.”
It’s quite simple, really (if you play on easy mode that is).
It’s one of 2021’s most popular games now, and like Among Us, it got hit with a lot of creepy game ads, but while Among Us was just ports to the game from shady flash game sites, Friday Night Funkin’ was a lot more sexual.
And I mean, A LOT more sexual. However, in a more ‘corporate’ fashion.
Well, if you can even call it fashion.
Half of these hyper-sexualized ads came from the shady flash game sites and even quiz websites, trying to cash in on the popularity of the game.
And did I mention that these are super sexual?
And what’s worse about these kinds of ads is due to its predatory nature.
In the picture above, they feature not just the “pop-its”, but two properties that appeal to kids.
So, not only are they going to get dirty money by violating copyright, but also by stealing data from kids, which Youtube tells it’s users that it is.
So, let’s traverse to the main center of these ads.
Youtube has barely done absolutely nothing about them. So many of these run rampant on their site. And, everyone is fed up. Why, though?
Remember that point when people were upset about getting their videos demonetized, or even taken down because of “inappropriate” videos?
Well, they don’t reinforce these guidelines for advertisers like they do for Youtubers, which is very concerning.
Youtube has told many Youtubers who are concerned about this about the ads, but nothing has been done about it.
Like, at all.
In fact, these ads are more rampant than ever. And it’s a very bad look for Youtube.
So, unless this issue is solved completely, these creepy ads are only going to get worse.
And people are going to leave the platform for something completely different altogether. And I’m sure the CEO’s aren’t gonna be happy.