YouTube's New Profanity Rules Raise Gamer Ire
YouTube's latest rules are cracking down on violence and profanity, landing many gaming YouTubers in the hot seat with the company. YouTube now treats all swear words with equal weight and video game/simulated violence with the same weight as real-world violence. In previous iterations of the rules, it allowed "moderate profanity" within the first 30 seconds of the video and did not have as strict regulations on video game violence. Users with profanity in their titles, thumbnails, the first several seconds of their videos, or "consistently" throughout the entire video can find themselves demonetized or flagged. This new set of rules applies retroactively to any/all videos uploaded, meaning that creators who have spent years building their channels have had to deal with a flood of newly demonetized content.
RTGame (Daniel Condren), a YouTuber with nearly 3M subscribers, made a video explaining the obstacles he faced when trying to appeal the restrictions on his videos and trying to find an answer from YouTube clarifying the rules. Condren states he'd put in an appeal for one of his recently flagged videos, which was denied within 10 minutes of sending; after that, over a dozen of his older videos were mass-flagged. He stated that he feels his content was deliberately targeted due to his escalating the situation with the original video. Condren isn't the only creator affected by the rollout of YouTube's new regulations, and this isn't the first time that creators have criticized the ever-changing, and frankly cryptic, platform content rules. Several other major YouTube accounts have created videos criticizing the company's lack of communication and transparency with the latest update. As a cherry on top of the regulations, YouTubers cannot regain monetization by editing their videos with an intro "buffer" in YouTube's native editor, another point of contention for those hoping to game the system. Age-restricted content can only receive a limited amount of YouTube ads, and age-restricted videos are removed from YouTube's recommendations engine, which makes a dent in income for creators whose careers depend on video monetization. Streamer gaming channels that show in-game violence (AKA, the games they're playing) with peppered-in swears (reasonable if you've ever played a frustrating game) are facing difficulty with maintaining their audiences or having their videos stay around for long.
An example of the sometimes absurd implementation of YouTube's policies was when a MegaMan documentary was restricted for violating YouTube's "sex and nudity" policy. The video was flagged and unflagged around 4-5 times total as the creator went back and forth with YouTube's moderation team. This example, and several others, has led the community to ask how these regulations and rules get approved and implemented. Users have found that the rules don't seem to be applied equally, with some egregious content slipping through the cracks or, in the case of the MegaMan documentary, mistakenly flagged. Comments from YouTube representatives have remained murky or unanswered, leading to further frustrations from creators and fans alike.
What are your thoughts on YouTube's latest rules and regulations? While we can't go back to the Wild West Internet days of the early aughts where rules were bunk, these new rules aren't helping keep communities safer, and they're actively harming successful content creators.