YouTube has suspended a popular influencer’s ability to make money from his videos after allegations emerged he had sent messages to boys under 18.
James Charles, who addressed the allegations in a video viewed 8.5 million times and titled ‘holding myself accountable’, said he spoke with a few individuals who told him they were over 18.
In a statement given to ITV News, YouTube said it has temporarily removed Charles from its Partner Program – which is what YouTubers sign up to for the chance to make money.
A spokesperson said: "We can confirm that we had applied our creator responsibility policy and temporarily removed James Charles from the YouTube Partner Program."
It is not known for how long he will be suspended.
YouTube’s Creator Responsibility guide states: “Remember that as YouTube creators, you should remain responsible both on and off the platform.
“If we see that a creator's on- and/or off-platform behaviour harms our users, community, employees or ecosystem, we may take action to protect the community.”
The video platform’s announcement comes as another blow to make-up and beauty influencer Charles, who has 25.5 million subscribers, just days after another company distanced itself.
Over the weekend, cosmetics business Morphe announced the end of their partnership.
In a statement, the company said: “In light of the recent allegations against James Charles, Morphe and James have agreed to end our business relationship and wind down sales of the Morphe x James Charles product offering.
“It is and has always been Morphe’s goal to create a positive, safe, and empowering space where all beauty lovers can freely share their artistry and passion for cosmetics, and Morphe is committed to furthering that goal.”
At the same time, Charles posted a statement on Twitter saying he is taking time to “learn, grow, and listen” and confirmed he mutually agreed with Morphe to wind down the collaboration.
He said that after posting his video addressing the allegations, “many other people have come forward with a series of misleading stories and false allegations”.
“These stories have caused many of my long-term partners to receive considerable negative feedback, one of them being Morphe,” he added.
“I’ve loved every moment working together, and am beyond grateful for what we’ve created together.
“That being said, I reached out to them and we mutually agreed to wind down our James Charles x Morphe collaboration, which is my only project with them.
“I am continuing to take time away to learn, grow, and listen, and look forward to coming back one day in the future as a better version of myself.”
How do YouTubers make their money?
To make money on the platform, an audience is essential. To build one, users must produce consistent videos that viewers enjoy watching.
If this goes well, users can apply to the YouTube Partner Programme (YPP), which lets creators monetise their videos.
To be approved, YouTube says users must be “in good standing” with the company, have 4,000 public watch hours in the past 12 months, and have at least 1,000 subscribers.
A key revenue steam comes from adverts – the more views a video gets, the more the creators stands to earn.
It is difficult to say how much a creator can earn from videos, given there are so many variables. Estimations vary from less than a pound to a few pounds per 1,000 views.
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