YouTube Enrages South Koreans by Demonetizing Viral Coronavirus Reporter

Clark TV, a popular YouTuber in South Korea who reports about the state of coronavirus in China, has abruptly been demonetized by YouTube.
Posted in: Headlines
February 5, 2020 9:22 AM UTC
  • One of the most popular YouTubers reporting about coronavirus in South Korea has been demonetized.
  • South Korean netizens are outraged by the demonetization of a top source of updates regarding the virus outbreak.
  • It raises the question of ambiguity surrounding YouTube’s demonetization guidelines.

Clark TV, a popular YouTuber in South Korea who recently started to report about the state of the coronavirus outbreak in China, has recently been demonetized by YouTube. It sparked outrage amongst local communities who have relied on the YouTuber for on-the-ground reporting.

In recent weeks, Clark TV released footage from Wuhan including videos of local experts, thoughts of journalists that entered Wuhan after the lockdown, and regular updates on the outbreak.

South Korea netizens enraged for abrupt demonetization

For many South Korean communities that have been following the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Clark TV has been one of the few direct sources of information on the subject.

The YouTuber, who now has over 600,000 subscribers, frequently releases statements of doctors in Wuhan, translated local media reports from China, and shared videos of various incidents that go unreported in the traditional media.

The YouTuber is best known for translating official reports from the Chinese media and showing the top voted comments on popular articles to show a glimpse of how the Chinese people are actually reacting in real-time to various coronavirus updates and incidents.

For instance, earlier this week, the Chinese media revealed Wuhan is not suffering from severe food shortage.

The People’s Daily report read that Wuhan currently has 34,000 tons of vegetables in storage. This amount can supply the city for about a week, without any additional inflow of food support.

But, the YouTuber read many of the top-rated and voted comments on the People’s Daily Report from local residents. Most of the comments expressed distrust towards local authorities and their claims of having an abundant supply of food.

Simply put, the YouTuber has been showing the other side of the official reports from state-controlled newspapers regarding the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

Should reporting about coronavirus be subject to demonetization?

Clark TV has a distinctive style of not spreading unverified rumors about coronavirus nor the outbreak. His style of reporting is to gather local reports from China or popular footage circulating in Chinese communities to translate into South Korean.

Almost all videos of Clark TV about coronavirus are demonetized (source: ISSUE-KING YouTube)

Hence, many top YouTube channels in South Korea including ISSUE-KING, which has nearly 600,000 subscribers as well, are reporting that many people are failing to understand the premise of demonetization.

For YouTube, merely reporting about coronavirus can be considered non-friendly to advertisers. Regardless of how it is reported, information about coronavirus can be deemed sensitive and for that reason, the YouTuber may have been demonetized.

But, YouTube South Korea has had issues of demonetization throughout the past several months.

Many political commentary channels said that most of their videos have been demonetized without sufficient reason, as reported by major South Korean mainstream publication Chosun.

More importantly, while there are YouTubers that are trying to spread false information and intensify fear about coronavirus for higher view counts, YouTubers that are providing balanced reports on the subject have to be treated fairly.

Samburaj Das edited this article for If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or Rights and Duties of the Editor or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

Last modified: June 24, 2020 1:04 AM UTC

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Joseph Young @iamjosephyoung

Financial analyst based in Seoul, South Korea. Contributing regularly to CCN and Forbes. I have covered the stock market and bitcoin since 2013.