Does YouTube Play Favorites?

YouTuber CoryxKenshin makes a video calling out YouTube on its favoritism and supposed racism on the platform.

photo courtesy of CoryxKenshin, video: "YouTube: Racism and Favoritisim"

YouTuber CoryxKenshin makes a video calling out YouTube on its favoritism and supposed racism on the platform.

Natalie Becker, Opinion Editor

YouTube is the biggest content creation platform in the world. Millions of gaming creators go there to upload content that they deem popular to the viewers. Other YouTubers can upload the same content and give their own points of view. It’s a little bit of healthy competition.

But what happens when the competition becomes slated against you? What if you are a respected creator but are overlooked by YouTube? What happens when your videos are age-restricted for a serious thing but nobody else’s was? 

This is what happened to YouTuber CoryxKenshin, a black creator who feels YouTube plays favorites and believes there might be racism involved. Cory has over 14 million subscribers on his gaming channel and posts family-friendly content.

In his video, titled “YouTube: Racism and Favoritism,” Cory said that his video of “The Mortuary Assistant,” a horror game, got age-restricted unbeknownst to him. He scrolled through other people’s videos to see if they got age-restricted, but they did not. 

Age-restriction is when a video is not able to be watched by anyone under the age of 18.

Cory contacted his YouTube representative to try to see why the video was age-restricted. The YouTube rep said it might have been due to a very graphic scene at the end of the game. 

Cory tried to find YouTubers who had that same part in their video. One specific example that Cory used was Markiplier. Mark played “The Mortuary Assistant” and got the same ending Cory did, but his video did not get age-restricted. 

Cory showed his YouTube rep Mark’s video and they sent it off to the policy team. The policy team took the age-restriction off of Cory’s video. 

Cory was furious. “They looked at Mark’s video and they used that to verify my innocence,” Cory said.

In the end, both Mark and Cory’s videos were age-restricted. “They got caught with their pants down,” Cory said.

The main issue for Cory is that YouTube always finds “something that they can incriminate me for.” Any time he has ever come back to uploading videos, his videos get copyright strikes or age-restricted. Cory thinks that YouTube is trying to keep him, a black content creator, from growing in viewers.

He believes the issue stems from the policy team. These people are anonymous and get to “enact their will however they see fit,” according to Cory.

“How can we be sure that they don’t take a black person’s video and a white person’s video and it can be the same exact video,” Cory said. “But they restrict the black person’s video but not the white person’s video?”

Many other popular creators have expressed their distaste in the policy team. 

Irish YouTuber Jacksepticeye made two videos talking about how some of his girlfriend’s videos got age-restricted instantly and he did not until days later. In his video, “Youtube has some serious issues…,” he stated he did not want special treatment from YouTube just because he was a big creator.

Mark uploaded a video titled “Try Not To Get AGE-RESTRICTED Challenge.” Having watched Mark for years, I knew he wasn’t going to approach this with a simple video; he was conducting an experiment. He played one of the most NSFW (not safe for work) games and censored most of the video. As of Sept. 6, that video is still up and not age-restricted. 

Ethan from CrankGameplays, a friend of Mark and Jack’s, uploaded a two-hour video commemorating his 10 years on YouTube, but the video was age-restricted for a six-second clip, which was him upset over a game and throwing out curse words. 

I think the main issue here has got to be the policy team. So far, they have unfairly age-restricted videos that didn’t need to be. They don’t tell the creators what the issue with the video is. 

They have an AI go through it first, and then when a creator appeals a restriction, the human policy team scans through it. 

The fact that there isn’t consistency throughout the restrictions shows that either the AI is faulty, or the policy team isn’t doing their job correctly. 

Despite many creators coming out about their struggles, YouTube has yet to say anything about the issue.