Update: A Little Swearing on YouTube Won’t Get You Demonetized

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Carla Marshall
March 14, 2023
Swearing on YouTube

YouTube has released a new modernization update, and it’s pretty surprising. Especially as it comes on the heels of demonetizing thousands of creators in 2023 over updated advertiser-friendly guidelines. That policy confirmed that any video that contained inappropriate language in the first five seconds couldn’t be monetized via the YouTube Partner Program.

To the surprise of many creators, YouTube decided to reverse some of the monetization changes, and here are the four main updates they just announced:

  • #1 Moderate profanity used frequently at any time throughout your video can now earn ad revenue. 
  • #2 Most profanity used within music or standup comedy can now earn ad revenue. 
  • #3 Use of stronger profanity like the F word used in the first 7 seconds or repeatedly throughout the majority of your video can now run limited ads. 
  • #4 Content using moderate and strong forms of profanity after the first seven seconds can now earn ad revenue unless used repeatedly throughout the majority of the video. 

Even better, all the videos that got demonetized because of the initial update are going to be re-reviewed and re-monetized as long as they follow the other policies.

Did You Know? TubeBuddy has a Demonetization Audit tool that can identify off-limit words in your title, description, or tags that could potentially cause the demonetization of your video. Sign up for access today!

History of Recent YouTube Demonetization Guideline Changes

YouTube often makes changes that creators are not always happy with, like removing the public dislike count in 2021, announcing the controversial Shorts monetization guidelines in 2022, then demonetizing thousands of YouTubers over updated advertiser-friendly guidelines. 

That last one really hurt a lot of creators. Overnight, thousands of YouTubers found huge portions of their video catalog demonetized, all because the new update included several new restrictions on what new videos were allowed to earn ad revenue. And also applied to every single video that’s ever been uploaded to YouTube. Do you see how that might be a problem? 

Many creators went to sleep making money from years’ worth of videos that they uploaded to YouTube, then woke up demonetized. Unsure about their future and really unsure about what their next move should be. Now, to be honest with you, this update did include some understandable changes like demonetizing videos featuring dangerous or harmful acts that included minors and blocking ads from videos that showcase dishonest behavior. Many advertisers don’t want their content on videos like that, so it’s understandable. That’s not really YouTube’s fault. 

Now, there were some changes that creators found absolutely horrid. Mainly the updates around inappropriate language and gameplay violence. Seemingly appropriate gameplay videos suddenly got demonetized for being too gory. 

All forms of profanity started being treated equally, like moderate and extreme forms of profanity. Yeah, all of them together, and it became harder to monetize anything with swearing. Then there was the confusing stuff, like not being able to monetize if you use profanity in the first seven seconds of your video. We’re still not sure why seven seconds mattered so much, but you know creators, and you know the internet. They expressed their thoughts and frustrations about these changes in videos, in comments across social media, across the entire internet, and YouTube listened, actually listened.

None of this was the case in the initial update. YouTube actually listened and then responded to creator feedback in a way that wasn’t expected. 

Now, the Internet’s going crazy because it is not typical for YouTube to reverse big policies like this. This really goes to show you that your voices do count and that the right kind of feedback and pressure can really make a difference. Watch our video on the new guidelines for more information:

I know it doesn’t seem like the dislike button is returning anytime soon, and we still have the ability to address these changes with the gory gameplay, but I’m sure most of you will agree that this is a step in the right direction and gives creators a better ability to express themselves without restriction. 

Carla Marshall Author

Carla Marshall

Carla Marshall is the Content Marketing Manager at TubeBuddy. She has 10+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, & SEO