VTubers are taking down ASMR videos on YouTube due to alleged policy change

YouTube: Asuka Hina / YouTube: Yukishiro Mahiro

After NIJISANJI VTuber Mashiro had his YouTube channel terminated, there’s been a wave of fellow talents being extra cautious with their content ⁠— namely privating their ASMR videos. The reason is due to an alleged policy change on the platform.

One of NIJISANJI’s veteran VTubers, Mashiro, has had their YouTube account terminated due to “violating YouTube’s community guidelines”. While there has been a number of suspensions in the VTuber community due to sexual content, Mashiro’s situation was different.

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Boasting nearly 370,000 subscribers at the time of takedown, his ban has sparked a wave of other VTubers being extra cautious regarding their content.

While not confirmed, a number of fellow VTubers have taken down their ASMR videos in what looks to be a preventative measure following Mashiro’s ban.

The ASMR subgenre is very popular in VTuber circles, with many stars holding weekly streams with hushed tones.

Creators have blamed a YouTube policy change as a reason for the pre-emptive privating of ASMR content. However, the exact policy change is unknown.

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“The ASMR archive has been temporarily removed due to a change in YouTube’s rules. We don’t know how long it’ll be removed for, but please understand it,” NIJISANJI’s Yukishiro Mahiro said on June 6.

“[My] channel may be affected by a change in YouTube’s rules, so all ASMR videos will be made private,” fellow liver Asuka Hina added.

Some have pointed out YouTube’s Child Safety policy, which prohibits “activities that could draw undesired attention to the minor, such as performing body contortions or ASMR.” This policy has been visible on the YouTube website since September 2020.

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In a statement to Dexerto, a YouTube spokesperson said there was no recent change in policy to force the takedown of ASMR videos.

“We have a long standing policy that disallows content that involves sexualization of minors. This is not a new policy,” they said.

However, the platform does remove videos and channels that sexualize minors, even if they are animated like VTubers. This policy is applied across all videos.

Mashiro is working with NIJISANJI management and YouTube to try and get his channel reinstated. However, with the exact reason unknown, many other VTubers using the platform are watching closely to see whether the reported policy update will affect them further.

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June 12 update: This piece has been updated with comments from a YouTube spokesperson.

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