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After creator backlash, YouTube loosened profanity and monetization rules

YouTube relaxed its controversial profanity rules today. The company claims the new rules created a “stricter approach” than intended. The new policy allows moderate and strong profanity without demonetization.

The November policy flagged videos with profanity in the first 15 seconds and made them ineligible for monetization, meaning YouTube wouldn’t run ads on them. Retroactively, some creators lost their monetization status.

YouTube planned to change the new rules in January.

YouTube is relaxing its rules to allow creators who use strong profanity in the first few seconds to qualify for limited ads. Ad revenue for such videos was eliminated in November. The company also notes that moderate or strong profanity after 7 seconds will be eligible for monetization, unless used repeatedly throughout the video. The November update again disallowed ad revenue for such videos.

YouTube will re-evaluate videos from November policy-affected creators.

The company also clarified that background, backing, and intro/outro music with moderate or strong profanity can now earn full ad revenue. Ad revenue was previously absent for such content. As before the November update, profanity in titles and thumbnails is demonetized and cannot run ads.

The new policy begins today. Although the new policy is vague and doesn’t address all creators’ concerns, it should allow a large number of creators to continue monetizing their videos without major changes.

As the past few months have shown, retrofitting new monetization rules onto a platform like YouTube is a delicate balance.

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