- Dr. Sandra Lee, also known as Dr. Pimple Popper, has made hundreds of thousands per month on YouTube.
- That ended because many advertisers didn’t want to appear next to “infographic” content, she told Insider.
- Lee was annoyed that her “tutorial” videos were being penalized for a “self” operation on YouTube.
The founder of a YouTube channel where pimples appear said she lost an income of nearly six figures a month when the site said her content was “too graphic” to make money.
Dr. Sandra Lee, also known as Dr. Pimple Popper, told Insider that Her YouTube channelwhich has 7.5 million subscribers and nearly 5 billion views, is struggling to generate significant advertising revenue.
After making nearly $100,000 a month in YouTube views between 2014 and 2016, the site then told her that her content wasn’t money-making.
YouTubers like Lee make money From advertising on videos, memberships and a portion of the revenue from premium subscribers.
This became a major source of revenue for Lee when her “crowd-addicted” viewers began watching her videos in the billions. according to Influencer Marketing Hub estimates That 1,000 views generate between $3 and $5, Lee could have made between $15 million and $25 million from those views.
However, YouTube Discourages users from posting “harsh or violent content” on its channels and warns against removing it. This included “shots or photographs displaying bodily fluids, such as blood or vomit, with the intent to shock or disgust viewers”.
This is usually intended to target harmful content and deter violence or trauma, but it appears that videos featured on Lee may also fall into this category. A graph seen by Insider details a steep drop in revenue in 2016, when her team said YouTube told her videos couldn’t be monetized.
But Lee, who said she received warnings on her YouTube account for her posts, argued that her videos were only educational.
“I’m really proud of the fact that kids know what a lipoma is now or know you can’t squeeze a cyst — you have to remove the entire cyst to remove it,” she said.
“We teach people about psoriasis or hidradenitis, but if you’re not excited about posting that content, how will people learn?”
Fighting medical misinformation
Lee feels it helps fight medical misinformation by acting as a verified source in dermatology, and I was appalled by YouTube’s actions.
“They suddenly changed the rules,” he told me, noting that advertisers didn’t want to be associated with a blackhead-popping channel.
“that they [social media platforms] They grow up because of all these new labels, but then they wait until they’re old enough that they can kind of clamp down on it and impose restrictions.”
Since then, Lee has created a members-only section, where viewers can access exclusive pops, while also earning income from her clinic, a show on cable channel TLC, and her skincare brand.
But she noted that TikTok, which has more than 15 million followers, has also started cracking down on content like Lee. Some of her TikTok videos now come with a content warning.
“There is a fine line between what is dangerous, what is only shocking, and what is educational,” he told me.
YouTube did not respond to a request for comment.