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Report: New YouTube policy leads to increased demonetisation of games content

UPDATE: YouTube pledges to make "some adjustments" following backlash over latest rules targeting violence and profanity more severely

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Update, January 16, 2023: In a statement shared with TechCrunch, YouTube spokesperson Michael Aciman said the company is working on tweaks of the new policy, following backlash from content creators.

"In recent weeks we’ve heard from many creators regarding this update," Aciman said. "That feedback is important to us and we are in the process of making some adjustments to this policy to address their concerns. We will follow up shortly with our creator community as soon as we have more to share."

Original story, January 3, 2023: An update in YouTube's moderation policies has reportedly led to increasing demonetisation of gaming content on the platform.

According to VentureBeat, YouTubers like Penquinz0 have noticed an uptick in demonetised videos after a policy update cracking down on game violence.

Content creator RTGame has also shared his experience on Twitter, highlighting that the policy changes applied retroactively as well, demonetising several of his videos.

YouTube's Advertiser Friendly Guidelines were updated in November 2022, though it wasn't clear at the time when they would come into effect. It does seem like that's now the case, and has been since the end of December.

Among the changes, violence was particularly targeted, with the new rules reading: "Content showing dead bodies (without context), game violence directed at a real, named person or acts that’s created to intentionally shock and disgust, and videos showing an implied moment of death, will not receive ad revenue.

"Standard game play where gory injuries are present AFTER the first 8 seconds, non-graphic tragedies and their aftermath, or police seizures as a part of law enforcement can receive ad revenue." (emphasis original)

What YouTube calls "inappropriate language" is now more punished as well, with the new rules stating that "all varieties of profanity are now treated equally meaning they are not differentiated based on levels of severity."

"Content where profanity is used AFTER the first 8 seconds may receive ad revenue. However, if profanity is used in the first 8 seconds of the video, then it will not monetize." (emphasis original)

YouTube has provided specific guidelines about the new rules for gaming-related channels.

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Author
Marie Dealessandri avatar

Marie Dealessandri

Features Editor

Marie Dealessandri joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016 at B2B magazine MCV. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack.