YouTube is no longer going to run ads on videos that feature the recently re-popularised Momo challenge.
This includes verified news sources and channels that feature segments with Momo in it, such as CBS, ABC, CNN, FOX, and other local news channels.
The controversy surrounding Momo started when the sculpture created by Keisuke Aisawa was allegedly used to promote self-harm online.
In a statement to The Verge, YouTube confirmed that any videos that include Momo violate the platform’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines, and therefore won’t receive ads.
Other popular channels on YouTube have also had their ads removed when discussing or showing Momo for any reason. Popular creator Philip DeFranco commented on YouTube’s approach on his Twitter, expressing his disappointment and laughing at his own videos getting demonetised.
YouTube has been tightening up its guidelines when dealing with controversies and trending topics that cause outrage. Much of the stricter approach is to help protect brands and advertisers from having their ad content placed on videos deemed controversial or inappropriate.
With the Momo challenge, statements have circulated online saying the challenge has encouraged kids to hurt themselves, via places like YouTube.
The platform responded to the allegations in a tweet, stating: “we want to clear something up regarding the Momo Challenge: We’ve seen no recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo Challenge on YouTube. Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges are against our policies.”
YouTube continues to say it will take action against creators that violate its policies, especially if their actions continue to hurt the larger YouTube community.