News today has sent ripples through the YouTube community.

No, Logan Paul hasn’t started vlogging again although he might want to as YouTube has announced changes to its Partner Program.

“In 2018, a major focus for everyone at YouTube is protecting our creator ecosystem and ensuring your revenue is more stable,” said the platform on its blog.

This follows a tumultuous 2017 for the platform which saw a number of advertisers exiting due to their advertising being played on questionable videos from white supremacists and more.

Rather than actively policing content however YouTube has a different plan – reduce how many people are able to earn money off of YouTube.

Starting now – to be eligible for monetisation of videos a channel will need to have 1 000 subscribers and 4 000 hours of watchtime over 12 months. As regards existing channels – these changes will come into effect on 20th February.

“We’ve arrived at these new thresholds after thorough analysis and conversations with creators like you. They will allow us to significantly improve our ability to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to them (and away from bad actors). These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone,” said YouTube.

The platform says that 99% of the channels that are affected by this change are earning less than $100 per year.

What is so bizarre about this entire situation however, is that in recent months it’s YouTube’s biggest earners are the channels that have draw huge amounts of controversy and not smaller channels.

Earlier this year Logan Paul shocked the world by uploading a vlog which contained the body of a suicide victim. In 2017 distasteful uploads by Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg drew the attention of the Wall Street Journal.

That’s before we even get into the content lurking in videos aimed at children.

So what is YouTube doing about its biggest creators bringing the entire platform into disrepute? Having a chat with them.

“We also know that the bad action of a single, large channel can also have an impact on the community and how advertisers view YouTube. We’ll be working to schedule conversations with our creators in the months ahead so we can hear your thoughts and ideas and what more we can do to tackle that challenge,” said YouTube.

These changes appear to make monetisation for smaller channels much harder than it is at the moment and while we do hope these changes make YouTube a more advertiser friendly space (for the sake of creators) we aren’t holding our breath.

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.