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YouTube Updates Profanity Rules And It Could Impact The Ad Revenue Podcasters Get There.


When YouTube updated its advertising guidelines in November the company immediately found itself on the receiving end of criticism, especially from the gaming community. What sparked the pushback were changes to its content guidelines for what YouTube refers to as “inappropriate” language” that would put ad dollars at risk for any producer – including podcasters – that crossed the line. But YouTube is now making some more changes.


When YouTube announced the revisions in November, it said its approach to profanity was changing and that all varieties of profanity are now treated equally, meaning they are not differentiated based on levels of severity – such as light, moderate, strong, or extreme. It also said it would no longer consider ‘hell’ and ‘damn’ as a profanity anymore. It also said that “profanity used in the title, thumbnails, or in the video’s first 15 seconds or used consistently throughout the video may not receive ad revenue.” Any profanity used after that would be eligible.


But the change angered some content creators who said it would impact older videos that were posted on YouTube prior to the policy change’s announcement.


The policy has been tweaked slightly in response. YouTube now says that only profanity used in the first eight seconds would block ad revenue. Any used after that may receive ad dollars. The revision is expected to allow more content that would have been blocked to continue to receive ad dollars.


“Our position on not monetizing content with profanity throughout or comprising the majority of the video is not changing,” it said. YouTube earlier said that its Advertiser-friendly content guidelines page has been updated to make clear to the creator community that its video monetization guidelines apply to both long-form video and Shorts formats.


According to YouTube’s vulgar language policy, explicit content that violates the policy could result in age restriction, content removal, or a strike. Factors that go into that include the use of sexually explicit language or narratives, use of excessive profanity in the content , use of heavy profanity or sexually suggestive terms in the content’s title, thumbnail, or associated metadata, and the use of excessive sexual sounds.


If a creator’s content violates this policy, YouTube says it will remove the content. First-time offenders are likely to get a warning with no penalty. If it’s not, YouTube may issue a strike against your channel. If a creator receives three strikes within 90 days, their channel will be terminated.


“This policy applies to videos, video descriptions, comments, live streams, audio, and any other YouTube product or feature,” the policy warns. It adds that YouTube may allow vulgar language when the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic, and it isn’t gratuitous. “Remember that giving context in the content, title, and description will help us and your viewers determine the primary purpose of the video,” it tells creators.

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