YouTube already has a hard time managing the ads it automatically inserts itself, but it’s even harder to manage the ads that are in the actual videos themselves. A good example would be the company’s current predicament. It has pulled over 1,400 videos after a BBC investigation found more than 250 channels had mid-video ads for EduBirdie, a Ukraine-based essay cheating service.
YouTube had given some of the channels until May 4th to edit the ads out of their videos, but not all of them did so before the cutoff point. We don’t know if YouTube will let users re-upload these videos without the ads. While the ads aren’t illegal, they do violate YouTube’s ad policies.
The channels affected are very upset. Some of them have lost months’ worth of video. They also complained that YouTube didn’t do enough to communicate its policies on ads like these. Youtube promises that it’ll be “working with creators going forward” to help them understand that these ads aren’t acceptable.
It’s not easy to detect baked-in ads like this, so Youtube has challenges ahead. And many video creators don’t fully understand policies even when content is potentially illegal. They have to learn to communicate more effectively.