Pressured by thousands of complaints on social media, Youtube decided to take down a six-second unskippable advertisement for the upcoming horror film The Nun.
The clip was one of those promoted ads that play on YouTube before your chosen video is streamed. The promo starts with a typical Apple volume icon and it’s indicator bar sliding left and right. It switches to mute, and then, all of the sudden a terrifying ghostly face leaps at the viewer accompanied by a screeching, monstrous sound.
WARNING! If you see an ad on youtube with the volume sign 🔊🔉🔇 being turned down and nothing else, ITS A JUMPSCARE for the new NUN movie coming out. i advise you look away and/or turn down the volume if you have anxiety or just straight up hate jumpscares, pls rt to save a life
— apple 🍎 (@bbydvas) August 12, 2018
Thousands of people complained on Twitter and Reddit over the disturbing nature of the advert, ultimately prompting YouTube to take it down alleging it violated their “shocking content policy.”
Google’s advertising policies prohibit ads that contain “gruesome or disgusting imagery” and that “are likely to shock or scare.”
The thing is, YouTube is full of content that meets those exact criteria. The decision of taking down an advert for a supernatural horror flick on those grounds seems kind of hypocritical when you take into account that there are hundreds or maybe thousands of videos on the service that show real executions, torture, and gore.
Appreciate you bringing this to our attention! This ad violates our shocking content policy and it’s no longer running as an ad. More info here: https://t.co/dOUocjUevh
— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) August 14, 2018
Google has been fairly diligent in enforcing their content guidelines when it comes to high profile cases like those of Alex Jones and Logan Paul, but has been highly ineffective when it’s down to dealing with smaller channels.
The only thing for certain is that the controversy has boosted immensely the expectations for the film.
Produced by New Line Cinema and distributed by Warner Brothers, The Nun is the latest spinoff from the popular horror franchise The Conjuring. Set in the 1950s, the film tells the story of a young novice and a troubled priest sent by The Vatican to a cloistered abbey in Romania to investigate the mysterious suicide of a nun.
This promising piece of gothic horror is directed by Corin Hardy, author of the festival darling from 2015 The Hallow and is produced by James Wan, responsible for both The Conjuring films, Saw, and the upcoming superhero flick Aquaman.
The Nun is set for a theatrical release on September 6 in Australia. At your discretion, watch the controversial ad below.