YouTube looks to demonetization as punishment for major creators, but it doesn’t work

When YouTube wanted to punish political pundit Steven Crowder amid widespread outcry over his homophobic comments, its first move was to disable Crowder’s ability to run ads on his videos. The punishment was meant to revoke a key source of income, presenting a strong incentive for Crowder to change his behavior. But Crowder didn’t care, “This really isn’t that big of a ding for us,” he said.

Crowder sells T-shirts, hats, stickers, and subscriptions for more videos through his website, which is where he’s indicated most of his channel’s money comes from. Selling merchandise and subscriptions through other platforms isn’t just a way for creators to make more money, it’s also a way for creators to insulate themselves from YouTube’s…

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