Youtubers all around the world woke up to what felt like a breakup letter from YouTube today (Jan. 17). Small content creators who had been a part of YouTube’s partner program had been alerted that major changes were coming in the next 30 days whether they liked it or not. A report by the Los Angeles Times provided a lot of the information used in this article.

Logan Paul, who has about 19 million subscribers spread out over his two accounts, recently made news headlines with his Suicide Forest video. In the video, Paul visits a forest in Japan that is rumored to be haunted but it is mostly known as a place where people go to commit suicide.

He took his film crew with him as they explored the forest and came upon a person who had committed suicide. In the video, Paul and his friends can be seen laughing as they film the body and make inconsiderate comments about what they are witnessing.

The video has since been removed from YouTube but not before being viewed about six million times. Most of Paul’s viewers are teenagers who are highly impressionable. Being that Logan Paul is a social media influencer, he should have known that making fun of suicide and acting as though it’s a joke weighs heavily on his viewers. Paul was more concerned with obtaining likes and views to gain ad revenue that he didn’t stop to think of the implications posting that video would have.

What are the new rules?

Now, small content creators are suffering the consequences of Logan Paul’s major mistake. YouTube e-mailed content creators letting them know that starting February 20, 2018, they would no longer be able to monetize their videos unless they met new criteria. The new criteria state that a channel must have at least 1,000 subscribers and have obtained 4,000 hours of watch time.

If the criteria are met within 12 months, then a creators account will be able to monetize its content.

According to LA Times, YouTube claims that 99 percent of creators earn less than $100 a year from YouTube ads. While 80 percent of creators reported a drop in revenue after YouTube began implementing tighter restrictions.

What YouTube fails to understand is that many content creators make their income from sponsorships and not ad revenue.

The tighter restrictions are making it harder for creators to be found on YouTube and gain new followers. On YouTube’s website, they claim that creators will no longer be able to use features such as end screens and cards that link to outside website, merchandise, or crowdfunding. Is this a ploy for YouTube to ensure money goes to their advertisers and not to other sponsors?

YouTube believes that by implementing stronger restrictions it will ensure that only creators who make positive contributions to their platform will be rewarded. They also have issued statements saying they will begin reviewing content with actual human panels and not relying solely on bots to weed out infractions.

How Logan Paul changed YouTube

This new set of restrictions comes only days after Logan Paul posted his suicide forest video on YouTube. At the time YouTube lost ad agencies that no longer wanted their ads being paired with inappropriate content. Rather than YouTube removing Paul from their platform they chose to let the actions of one affect the many.

The recent set of restrictions is one of the biggest changes YouTube has seen since it first started in 2005.

Will these changes actually make YouTube safer?

The real question is, will these changes make YouTube safer for viewers? Logan Paul definitely met the new criteria for his channels and most likely watch time. That didn’t stop him from posting inappropriate material and while he removed the video it had already been seen by six million viewers.

The new restrictions will affect small creators, but what about the large content creators, like Paul, who can post content and have it seen by millions in no time at all? Time will tell what will become of YouTube but it definitely seems that they are more concerned with protecting their own revenue than ensuring content is suitable for all.