Adpocalypse 11

Gavin Lopez is a video sharing, a social media platform that most people in today’s digital age are familiar with. Your mom and even grandparents have most likely heard of YouTube. YouTube is very successful, they make revenue from advertising that also allows the people who create videos (often referred to as YouTubers)  make money through a program called Adsense earnings when ads are enabled on their videos.

A lot of active social media users and general users of the app may be aware that YouTube videos can be demonetized unfairly and wrongfully done. They can appeal demonetization but still, it may take some time.

This is all due to the adpocalypse that arose in March of 2017 and ended in May after a scandal that caused many sponsors and advertisers to withdraw from YouTube and to boycott the website. Even after the “adpocalypse” though the effects still lingered with a rampant copyright bot made by YouTube that would unfairly demonetize YouTubers.

You might be wondering by now what “Adpocalypse” means. It refers to how all the ads on YouTube were mostly withdrawn and taken away from YouTubers, which can be a big deal for bigger YouTubers that rely on ads for their daily income. Because the bigger channels creators have most likely made YouTube their main and only source of income, when the ads started going away, it caused a panic on the site and the term the “adpocalypse” was coined.

Over time the site began to get all their sponsors back, with a few bumps in the road with companies like UMG ( Universal Music Group ) unfairly copyright striking and taking down videos. But for the most part, everything was back to normal until just recently.

The first adpocalypse happened in March of 2017 when it was shown to the media that ads were being played on racist and other extremist videos on YouTube. Which gave the site bad press causing some advertisers to withdraw.

Then in September of 2017, the biggest YouTuber on the site “Pewdiepie” said the N-Word during one of his live streams, which many people took offense to. Many news stories and articles were written shortly following the incident as well as many YouTubers expressing how they felt about the situation. Many even using Pewdiepie as the fall guy/scapegoat. For the most part, he became the face of the first Adpocalypse when he really wasn’t. He just more or less added to an already existing problem. Other points were made up about anti-Semitic jokes he made in early 2017 too.

Because of this controversy more of YouTube had to be more family friendly to being back sponsors. Pewdiepie himself also took a hit losing brand deals, partnerships, and a YouTube red show that was in the works.   

Then in January of 2018, a YouTuber named Logan Paul uploaded a video to YouTube showing and reacting to a dead corpse hanging from a tree in the suicide forest of Japan. This again shook YouTube after many took offense to this, seeing how disrespectful and wrong it was.

After that, YouTube began to regain its feet again and slowly most of the ads came back for the content creators and for the most part everything seemed fine with a few bumps in the road. But then just recently on February 18th, 2019, a YouTuber that goes by the handle of MattsWhatltls made a video about how there was “Soft-core pedophilia ring” on YouTube. He then went on to blame YouTubes current algorithm for the situation. He alerted people in his fanbase to report this situation to companies putting ads on the site, often using the hashtag “#Youtubewakeup.

Soon enough this gained a lot of traction over the internet, with YouTube’s response being the deletion of 400 channels and suspending comments on tens of millions of videos. The site is trying to fix the problem and is also reporting offending users to law enforcement. YouTube then made a promise online to catch these inappropriate comments sooner in the future.

But even though it seemed that YouTube did their part very well and quickly within days big brands such as Hasbro, Disney, Epic Games, Dr. Oetker, Nestle, and AT&T all withdrew their ads from YouTube as the situation gained a lot of negative attention.

And not only that, AT&T had only just put their ads back on the sites two months prior to this incident after two months of not having them.

This event caused a lot of YouTube creators to be worried about the future of the site, fearing another adpocalypse which if that were to happen would cause more changes to the site. More censorship, tighter rules, and more innocent channels getting taken down or demonetize. Shortly following this, a lot of negativity went towards Matt’s choice to call out the site. It was good how he shined a light on a bad problem, but too many feel the way he went about it and pulling advertisers was not a good call. YouTube is still working on making the site a safer space, but many still fear if this could get any worse.


  1. The reason why Matt told ad sponsors to withdraw is that he has another channel in which one of his videos shows him asking an underage teen to do an adult film.


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