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YouTube halts ads on James Charles videos over messages with minors

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Citing its ‘creator responsibility policy’

YouTube has stopped running ads on James Charles’ channel after the creator was accused of sending sexual messages to minors. Charles apologized on April 1st and acknowledged the accusations. YouTube now says that Charles has violated its “creator responsibility policy,” resulting in the temporary demonetization of his channel. Insider first reported the action and YouTube verified the report with The Verge. The company didn’t clarify how long Charles’ channel would be demonetized.

The policy is essentially a catchall that YouTube uses to crack down on creators when their behavior leads to widespread negative attention, even if they haven’t explicitly violated YouTube’s rules. Charles is one of YouTube’s biggest creators with 25.5 million subscribers, putting him just above Eminem and Katy Perry. His behaviors cast a negative light on a platform that’s already been combating issues of child safety, resulting in the temporary suspension of advertising.

Charles addresses two of the allegations against him in his apology video and says these people had claimed they were 18 or over. “As an adult it is my job and my responsibility to verify who I’m talking to, and therefore there is no one to blame for this other than myself,” he says in this video.

YouTube has previously applied this rule to David Dobrik after a former member of his Vlog Squad was accused of rape, as well as Shane Dawson who published racist, anti-Semitic, and other offensive content, which gained widespread attention.