In context: YouTube Creators face plenty of problems in the realm of demonetization, copyright takedowns, and more, but we’ve also seen YouTube put more of an emphasis on addressing these issues lately. Today, that came in the form of a YouTube policy enforcement update that relaxes the platform’s rules regarding simulated violence in videos.
From here on out, YouTube will give content creators much more freedom to create the videos they want to create, without fear of having their hard work destroyed via age-gating (which prevents many younger users — a massive audience — from viewing the videos) or outright video blockage.
To be clear, this policy change does not apply to YouTube’s demonetization policies. While the platform is working on different changes to its monetization system that could pair “edgy” content creators with relevant ads instead of cutting off their revenue entirely, we’re still talking about completely separate guidelines. This news (theoretically) allows creators to reach a wider audience with their content, but it does not necessarily mean they’ll be able to benefit from it financially.
YouTube also makes it clear that they still have the freedom to age-restrict content if it “solely” focuses on violent or gory imagery, simulated or otherwise. For example, if a creator shows only the most graphically violent portions of a video game, his or her video could still be restricted.
The website’s new simulated violence policies apply to “scripted” violence as well, so that likely means action sequences in movies or TV shows will also be exempt from the traditional rules.
However, creators should still tread carefully here, as YouTube’s algorithms may have a more difficult time differentiating between real and fake violence when actual human actors are involved. Possible shortcomings aside, this is great news for creators overall, and we hope to see similar policy changes moving forward.