YouTube clarifies "hate speech" definition and which videos won't be monetized

Nichole Vega
June 3, 2017

Amid blowback from marketers upset about ads being placed on videos deemed inappropriate, YouTube is now taking steps to help creators better understand video ad guidelines for content.

"While it remains the case that videos that comply with our terms of service and community guidelines can remain on the platform, our advertiser-friendly content guidelines focus on what is specifically eligible for advertising", said Ariel Bardin, VP, product management, YouTube.

The second category is "inappropriate use of family entertainment characters", which means content showing kid-friendly characters in "violent, sexual, vile, or otherwise inappropriate behavior", no matter if the content is satirical or a parody.

The new guidelines attempt to clarify what content is eligible for advertising.

Users can no longer monetize unless they reach 10,000 views on their channel, and only a year ago, a number of high-profile YouTubers exited the platform after being told their content - including "vulgar language", "violence" and "controversial or sensitive subjects and events" - was not "advertiser-friendly".

YouTube was recently faced with intense backlash, followed by the departure of major brands, over the placement of adverts next to inappropriate and misleading content - such as video propelling hate, abuse, or even anti-Semitism. YouTube is defining this as anything that "promotes discrimination or disparages or humiliates an individual or group of people on the basis of the individual's or group's race, ethnicity, or ethnic origin, nationality, religion, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristic associated with systematic discrimination or marginalization". YouTube acknowledges that its systems still aren't flawless, but it says it's doing its best to inform creators while maintaining support for advertisers.

To be clear, many videos that fall under the above descriptions will still be permitted on YouTube - they just won't be allowed to receive advertising dollars.

YouTube has updated its advertising policy for content creators to prevent content with hate messages or discrimination of any type from featuring ads and monetizing the content.

Some YouTube subscribers and content creators met the news with dismay, launching heavy criticism at the company on the blog post's comment section.

YouTube has updated and expanded its guidelines for creators on what kinds of content are ineligible for advertising, aiming to provide more clarity on what videos it will "demonetize". Currently, YouTube hasn't provided details on how it plans to sift through news content like this-if it plans to do so at all.

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