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YouTube is relaxing its profanity usage regulations to allow content creators a bit more freedom on how they express themselves without getting their videos demonetized immediately. These changes had been introduced in November 2022 with the intention of making the platform more advertising-friendly and made life difficult for a lot of YouTubers as demonetization for breaching these rules hit old videos from before the changes just as much as new content.

Conor Kavanagh, YouTube’s Monetization Policy Lead, stated in the newest update video that the platform had heard the feedback around these measures and will loosen this strict approach to profanity a bit: “Upon reviewing our own enforcement data, we found the profanity policy resulted in a stricter approach than we intended. As a result, we are making the following changes to better reflect the goals of our initial update in November.”

Part of this relaxation policy is that not all swear words will be treated the same way anymore. Kavanagh points to “moderate” cuss words such as “asshole” and “douchebag” as examples that will no longer have any impact on monetization.

“Fuck” on the other hand will still lead to limited ads when uttered in the first seven seconds of a video or consistently throughout the content. The same goes for using profanity on thumbnails or in the video title – “harder” words may lead to ads on the video being limited.

Swear words in music, especially when used as background music, also won’t have a negative impact on monetization anymore.

Overall, this seems like a very good set of changes for the YouTube community. Like them or not, use them yourself or not, swear words are everywhere in our lives and banning them from content people consume daily in an effort to sanitize it for the sole sake of corporations is not the right thing to do – especially because this is a very American issue. Cussing is less of a big deal in many other regions in the world, such as in Europe or Australia, making the global censorship all the more strange.