YouTube said that the PewDiePie channel would be removed from its advertising platform and that it would also be cancelling a reality show that the YouTube star features in. "We’ve decided to cancel the release of Scare PewDiePie Season 2 and we’re removing the PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred," a spokesperson told The Independent.
Google Preferred is an advertising platform that allows advertisers to contact YouTube's most popular stars and advertise on their platforms. It isn't the only way to advertise on the service, but YouTube highlights it on a special page as a way of accessing "the top 5 per cent of content on YouTube" and feature "alongside some of the most engaging and brandsafe content" on the site.
The videos are no longer allowed to be monetised because they are in violation of YouTube's "advertiser-friendly content guidelines", which are stricter than the normal guidelines and require that people cannot feature "controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown".
But they are still available to view on the site, where they were posted in January.
Google requires that all videos uploaded to the site comply with its community guidelines, which include restrictions on hate speech. The guidelines specifically note that YouTube will consider the "intent of the uploader", and that videos may stay online if they are "intended to be humorous or satirical", "even if offensive or in poor taste".
In the posts, PewDiePie – whose real name is Felix Kjellberg – paid people to hold up signs reading "death to all Jews", and encouraged people to copy anti-Semitic slogans.
He said that he had made the video to highlight "how crazy the modern world is". He had commissioned the people to hold signs as a way to demonstrate the strange things that people would do for five dollars on the internet, he wrote in a post defending himself.
""I think it’s important to say something and I want to make one thing clear: I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes," he wrote in a Tumblr post.
"I make videos for my audience. I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary. I know my audience understand that and that is why they come to my channel. Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.
"As laughable as it is to believe that I might actually endorse these people, to anyone unsure on my standpoint regarding hate-based groups: No, I don’t support these people in any way."
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