YouTube halts Logan Paul ads and sets stricter terms for stars

Bloomberg, AP

YouTube temporarily suspended ads on the channels of the controversial internet video celebrity Logan Paul, halting an income stream estimated at millions of dollars and putting a more aggressive content policy into gear.

Last month, Paul posted video of himself in a forest near Mount Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture, near what appeared to be a body hanging from a tree. YouTube suspended the 22-year-old at the time for violating its policies. But Paul returned, and has since posted a video of himself using a Taser on dead rats. That video is still up, with an age restriction.

“After careful consideration, we have decided to temporarily suspend ads on Logan Paul’s YouTube channels,” YouTube said in a statement. “This is not a decision we made lightly, however, we believe he has exhibited a pattern of behavior in his videos that makes his channel not only unsuitable for advertisers, but also potentially damaging to the broader creator community.”

Paul is one of the highest-profile stars YouTube has sanctioned so far. In a blog post this month, YouTube Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki said the site is developing policies that would lead to consequences if a creator does something “egregious that causes significant harm to our community as a whole.” Such instances, while rare, can “damage the reputation and revenue” of fellow creators, she said.

Paul’s manager and publicist didn’t respond to requests for comment on Friday.

Google, part Alphabet Inc., is making the biggest changes to ad rules on YouTube since the site’s inception in 2005 after a boycott last year by some big brand marketers. The company has to walk a fine line between placating advertisers and supporting creators, who helped make the service so successful and often earn money by being edgy or outrageous.

Late on Friday, YouTube released more detailed guidelines which included a warning that the company could pull ads or boot creators off the service if they “cause harm” to other producers and consumers.

“In the past, we felt our responses to some of these situations were slow and didn’t always address our broader community’s concerns,” Ariel Bardin, vice president of product management at YouTube, wrote in an accompanying blog post.

YouTube released the new rules after top creators, including Casey Neistat, expressed concern about how Paul’s antics would affect them. Neistat reached out directly to YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl, who sat down for an interview about the matter, Neistat said in a video. The interview will run Monday.