PewDiePie has lashed out at YouTube for the new, stricter guidelines which he said will cause humour on the platform to peter out.
“So you’re not allowed to make fun of people’s appearances anymore,” the vlogger lamented, “but I’ll freakin’ do it anyway! Hey YouTube, you’re ugly! I don’t freakin’ care. What are you gonna do?!”
YouTube doesn’t allow videos and channels that explicitly threaten someone, reveal confidential personal information, or incite harassment. In third quarter of this year, YouTube removed over 16 million comments and 8.7 million videos; the bulk of the content was flagged and deleted automatically, before getting a single view.
This week, the platform moved forward and announced new harassment rules. They will now penalise content that contains “veiled or implied threats” or “maliciously insults” someone based on characteristics such as race, gender expression, or orientation. That policy also applies to comments.
Two of PewDiePie’s videos mocking Indian record label T-Series – his rival in the fight for biggest YouTube channel – were banned in India this year because they allegedly were racist.
One of them, a diss track called ‘Congratulations’, garnered over 150 million views but was left out of last year’s YouTube Rewind.
“It should have been on the list. But we said some super hurtful things, so it’s understandable. It definitely is harassment,” PewDiePie said with palpable sarcasm. “Jesus Christ, what is happening to comedy?”
“It doesn’t get better does it? COPPA [Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act] and edgy content slashed out in one month. Can’t wait for more mediocre humor on this platform.”
“Don’t go too far. That’s harassment. Because we can’t tell the difference if you are genuine or joking or not. We are not gonna bother finding out, so we’re just gonna make sure that everything you say is exactly serious.”
He then predicted that history will not look kindly on censors: “Even if we’re criticising it [harassment], we’re still gonna be grouped in with all these f**king morons controlling what is happening.”