After some backlash from creators, YouTube is “making adjustments” to its swearing policy which has seen videos demonetized if YouTubers swear within the first 15 seconds, The Verge reports.(Opens in a new window).
Announced in November(Opens in a new window), the updated swearing policy has caused great consternation among content creators, as all videos on a YouTuber’s channel, not just those that have recently uploaded, can be demonetized if there is swear words in the first 15 seconds. Ads are even more likely to be removed if the video contains a swear word within the first seven seconds, and a video is virtually guaranteed to be deemed ineligible for ads if swear words dominate the entire clip.
Speaking to The Verge, YouTube spokesperson Michael Aciman said, “Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard from many creators talking about this update. This feedback is important to us and we’re working on it. make some adjustments to this policy to address their concerns.”
He added that YouTube will “follow up shortly with our community of creators as soon as we have more to share.”
YouTube did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request to clarify how the current policy will be changed. We’ll update this article if they do.
As The Verge reports, words are mostly treated the same in politics. This means that moderate profanity such as “asshole” would be categorized as “motherfucker”. “Shit” and “hell” are fine, though.
Incipient swearing crackdown contrasts with earlier easing(Opens in a new window) in its approach to swear words in April 2021, when the platform said it would not remove ads from videos that had “moderate profanity (eg, shit and female dog) within the first 30 seconds”. This policy no longer holds, it seems, and videos that feature moderate use of profanity are at risk of being demonetized.
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The creators have criticized YouTube for potentially leaving them without a stable source of income, as the majority of their videos could be demonetized. They also took issue with an apparent lack of communication from the video streaming site around the policy rollout, with some like Cr1TiKaL saying(Opens in a new window) that YouTube treated the policy change as a “government secret,” adding that its YouTube contact didn’t even know the change had been made before researching it.
YouTuber ProZD criticized the move in a popular video(Opens in a new window) where, playing by the rules, he described politics as “the dumbest fucking shit I’ve ever heard”, 18 seconds later. In a second video(Opens in a new window) criticizing YouTube, he revealed that his previous video was demonetized two days after it was uploaded.
He signed the second clip with a short “fuck Youtube”. It’s unclear if this video was demonetized as well, but it was uttered well after a minute.
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