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YouTube relaxes rules around swearing and demonetization

Potty-mouthed YouTubers will be delighted to learn that the streaming site has relaxed its rules around swearing and demonetization.

The change comes after a more restrictive policy introduced in November caused an uproar among YouTube creators, especially the ones who like to use colorful language in their videos. The harsher rules introduced then resulted in profanity-laced content being demonetized, a situation that had serious consequences for those trying to make a living out of creating YouTube content.

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This week YouTube said that from March 7, the use of “stronger profanity, like the f-word in the first seven seconds or repeatedly throughout the majority of the video, can now receive limited ads (under the November update, this would have received no ad revenue).”

YouTube also confirmed that content with moderate or strong swearing after the first seven seconds will now be eligible for full monetization unless profanities are used repetitively throughout the majority of the video.

In addition, moderate or strong profanity used in background music, backing tracks, and intro/outro music can now earn full ad revenue, YouTube said, marking a change from before when such content would have received no ad revenue.

However, creators should note that the use of moderate or stronger profanities in titles and thumbnails will continue to be demonetized and will be prevented from running ads.

For more on the new rules, including a section where YouTube goes into some detail about how it’s categorizing specific swear words going forward, head to this page and select “guide to self-certification.”

It’s too early to say if the new rules will be to the satisfaction of impacted creators. For starters, YouTube’s position on swearing is still vague in some areas, so there may continue to be disputes if the company demonetizes a video that contains swearing but where the creator thought it was within the new rules.

Aware that the new stance and its impact may cause issues for some creators, YouTube commented: “We’re always working to improve the clarity of our ad-friendly guidelines and to make it easier for Creators to monetize brand safe content, so please continue to share your feedback.”

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