YouTube is backtracking on a decision made weeks ago to demonetize content about the coronavirus.
Coronavirus meets YouTube’s definition of a “sensitive topic” and videos about sensitive topics aren’t eligible to serve ads. In turn, that means creators can’t make money from the content in the form of ad revenue.
Up to this point, videos that contained even a passing mention of coronavirus would be immediately stripped of ads. As the situation escalates, and the outbreak evolves from a short-term event to an ongoing issue, YouTube is reassessing its policies.
In a letter to the community, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki states:
“In the days ahead, we will enable ads for content discussing the coronavirus on a limited number of channels, including creators who accurately self-certify and a range of news partners. We’re preparing our policies and enforcement processes to expand monetization to more creators and news organizations in the coming weeks.”
Now, this doesn’t mean YouTubers can profit off of content about the coronavirus. This change is being made to help ensure news organizations and reputable creators can continue producing quality videos in a sustainable way.
Advertising is the primary source of revenue for many YouTube channels. Without that revenue channels couldn’t afford to produce their content.
Producing timely content with up-to-date information is necessary in order to keep people informed about the virus outbreak. That’s why YouTube is changing its policies to get creators paid for their ongoing coverage.
YouTube notes that it will continue raising up authoritative sources in search and recommendations, and quickly remove videos that violate its policies.
In particular, any videos that discourage people from seeking medical treatment, or claim harmful substances have health benefits, will be removed.