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YouTube Updates Monetization Guidelines on Certain Sensitive Topics

After much confusion and controversy surrounding certain elements of its advertiser-friendly content guidelines, YouTube has announced an update to its rules, which will now give more leeway on certain content, enabling creators to monetize a broader range of clips.

YouTube’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines restrict monetization for videos that touch on certain sensitive topics, which has proven problematic for some creators who may cross the line, and lose their revenue potential as a result.

Of specific debate has been the breadth of YouTube’s rules on this front, which stem to some content that may touch on potentially controversial areas, but is also considered helpful or beneficial, and thus, probably shouldn’t be penalized.

YouTube’s been listening to creators on this, and will now allow ad revenue share on a broader range of topics, including abortion and adult sexual abuse.

As explained by YouTube:

This means that content which discusses these topics without going into graphic detail can fully monetize. We know that videos covering topics like these can be a helpful resource to users, so we want to ensure that wherever possible, Controversial issues discussed in a non-descriptive and non-graphic way aren’t disincentivized through demonetization.”

So, YouTube essentially agrees that some of this type of material can be beneficial, and should not be marked off, so it’s updating its guidelines accordingly. YouTube says that the change will mean that creators will see fewer penalties as a result of touching on these topic areas.

Going the other way, YouTube’s also moving to further restrict monetization of content which covers eating disorders, moving its monetization rules into line with its broader Community Guidelines.

“Content which focuses on eating disorders and shares triggers like guides around binging, hiding, or hoarding food or abusing laxatives will not receive ad revenue. This change will ensure such content isn’t incentivized with ads and that our monetization and community guidelines continue to be in sync. Note that educational or documentary content, and survivor content that references these aspects of having an eating disorder without promoting such activities won’t be impacted by this change.”

YouTube updated its rules around eating disorder content back in April, working with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), and others, to establish new guidelines around such. This new update expands on this push, which could see some food influencers lose their monetization capacity as a result of promoting potentially harmful eating habits. 

These are good, logical updates to YouTube’s content rules, which will make it easier for creators to share helpful content, while also addressing potentially harmful eating habits, as promoted in YouTube clips.

For advertisers, it’s also worth noting these changes, and considering what that could mean for ad placement, and where your promotions may be displayed in the app.

You can read more about YouTube’s ad policy guidelines updates here.

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