YouTube plans to change profanity rules that caused creator backlash • TechCrunch

YouTube plans to change profanity rules that caused creator backlash • TechCrunch

YouTube plans to change profanity rules that caused creator backlash • TechCrunch

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YouTube’s gaming community pushed back on the venture this week after some creators had their old videos demonetized out of the blue.


The culprit is a new policy the company introduced in November to make certain types of content more advertiser-friendly. This change, to YouTube’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines, revised the platform’s approach to profanity and violence.

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

“Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard from many creators regarding this update,” YouTube spokesperson Michael Aciman told TechCrunch. “These comments are important to us and we are in the process of making some adjustments to this policy to address their concerns. We’ll follow up shortly with our community of creators as soon as we have more to share. »

In November, YouTube expanded its definition of violence beyond real-world depictions, including violent in-game content “directed at a real named person or acts that are fabricated to create shocking experiences (such as brutal mass killings). The company said gore in “standard play” was fine, but only after the first 8 seconds of a video. The whole section left a lot of room for interpretation, for better or for worse.

Changes to its profanity policy were more drastic. YouTube announced that it would no longer count “hell” and “fuck” as rude words, but all other profanity would be grouped together instead of being differentiated based on severity (e.g. words like “shit ” and “damn” would now be treated the same way). Additionally, “profanity used in the title, thumbnails, or within the first 7 seconds of the video or used consistently throughout the video may not generate ad revenue,” according to the new policy.

If swearing occurs after the first 8 seconds of a video, it’s still eligible, but some of the changes were expected to affect a large number of videos, many of which were made long before the changes were announced. Creators started noticing the new policies in effect towards the end of December, watching some videos being slapped with new restrictions that limit their reach and ad eligibility.

YouTube creator Daniel Condren, who runs RTGame, explored the impact of the policy change on his own channel in a video that racked up more than a million views this week. Condren has struggled with app changes in recent weeks after seeing a dozen demonetized videos and his appeal request being denied.

“I really feel like my whole livelihood is in jeopardy if this continues,” Condren wrote on Twitter. “I’m so upset that this is happening and it seems like there’s nothing I can do to fix it.”

YouTube didn’t respond to our follow-up questions about how it plans to change the policy, but we’re certainly curious if the platform is rolling back old, previously posted videos that creators might rely on to earn money.

In the face of emerging regulations targeting social media’s relationship with underage users, the company is clearly trying to make its massive trove of videos more age-appropriate (and advertiser-friendly). But upgrading age restrictions and new monetization rules on a platform like YouTube is a delicate balance – and in this case, the changes had a quick and drastic impact that gave creators little time. to adapt.


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