YouTube plans to change the rules of profanity, which caused a negative reaction from authors


This week, the YouTube gaming community appeared against the company after some creators suddenly saw their old videos demonetized.

The reason for this is the new policy that the company presented back in November , to make certain types of content more user-friendly for advertisers. The change to YouTube’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines changed the platform’s approach to profanity and violence.

The good news is that while we still don’t know exactly what the company will do, YouTube is apparently listening to creators’ concerns.

“We’ve heard from many creators about this update in recent weeks,” YouTube spokesperson Michael Akiman told TechCrunch. “This feedback is important to us and we are currently making some adjustments to this policy to address their concerns. We’ll be in touch with our community of creators soon as we have more to share.”

In November, YouTube expanded its definition of violence beyond real-world imagery to include violent in-game content “directed at a real, named person, or actions designed to create a shocking experience (such as brutal mass murder).” The company said that the blood in the “standard game” was normal, but only after the first 8 seconds of the video. The whole chapter left a lot of room for interpretation, for better or for worse.

The changes to his profanity policy were more radical. YouTube has announced that it will no longer consider the words “hell” and “damned” as profanity, but all other profanity will be grouped together rather than differentiated by severity (for example, words like “shit” and “whore” now path will be considered equally). Additionally, according to the new policy, “profanity used in the title, thumbnails, or in the first 7 seconds of a video, or used consistently throughout the video, cannot generate ad revenue.”

If profanity appears after the first 8 seconds of a video, it’s still fine, but some of the changes affected a huge number of videos, many of which were made long before the changes were announced. Creators began to notice the new rules coming into effect around the end of December, seeing new restrictions placed on some videos that limited their reach and eligibility for advertising.

YouTube creator Daniel Condren, who runs RTGame, examined the impact of the policy change to his own channel in a video that has racked up over a million views this week. Condren has faced a flurry of enforcement in recent weeks after seeing about a dozen videos demonetized and his request for an appeal denied.

“I sincerely feel that my entire livelihood is in jeopardy if this continues,” Condren tweeted. “I’m so upset that this is happening at all and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to fix it.”

YouTube didn’t respond to our follow-up questions about how it plans to change this policy, but we’re certainly wondering if the platform will end enforcement of older, previously published videos that creators rely on for revenue.

With new rules surrounding social media dealings with underage users, the company is clearly trying to make its vast collection of videos more age-appropriate (and advertiser-friendly). But tweaking age restrictions and new monetization rules on a platform like YouTube is a delicate balance — and in this case, the changes had a quick, sweeping impact, giving creators little time to adapt.

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