YouTube cracks down on 'hateful' videos making money through advertising

Content that inappropriately uses family entertainment characters, such as depicting these characters engaged in "violent, sexual, vile, or otherwise inappropriate behavior", even if done so for comedy or satire, is prohibited.

Ads will also be banned from videos with "gratuitously incendiary, inflammatory, or demeaning" content. Arguably the most nebulous category is "controversial issues or sensitive events", which YouTube defines as "video content that features or focuses on sensitive topics or events including, but not limited to, war, political conflicts, terrorism or extremism, death and tragedies, sexual abuse, even if graphic imagery is not shown".

YouTube has issued new guidelines created to protect children and stop users making money from inappropriate videos featuring well-known TV characters.

YouTube has introduced new guidelines to take a tougher stance on hateful, demeaning and inappropriate comment. These guidelines cover "hateful content", which includes content that promoting discrimination or disparaging people and individuals based on any "characteristic associated with systematic discrimination or marginalization". The platform has also clarified that videos judged not to be "advertiser-friendly" could remain on the website as long as they did not break its guidelines.

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".

"We've heard loud and clear from the creator community and from advertisers that YouTube needs to broaden our advertiser-friendly guidelines around a few additional types of content", YouTube says. Many content creators felt those changes harmed their income, and they let YouTube know.

The recent tug-of-war between YouTube, its ad partners, and its creative community - which we and others have termed the "adpocalypse" - remains a hot topic of conversation in online video circles, and creators and their associates have urged YouTube to offer solutions for sitewide drops in ad revenue. "We know our systems aren't flawless, and we're also working to further improve your ability to appeal impacted videos", Bardin further added.

"We hope this additional information will provide you with more insight into the types of content that brands have told us they don't want to advertise against and help you to make more informed content decisions", said YouTube's VP of product management Ariel Bardin.

The website will also refuse to place ads next to videos using "gratuitously disrespectful language that shames or insults an individual or group". While such parody videos may not fall foul of copyright law, they will not be able to earn advertising revenue.

"We recognize there is still more work to do".

  • Zachary Reyes