As reggae legend Delroy Williams once said…”If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!”.
Well, the same now applies to YouTube and its Community Guidelines.
After creators asked for more resources to better understand how the platform draws its policy lines, the powers that be at YouTube listened.
In a statement published on August 29th, YouTube told its users that…
“Starting today, creators will have the option of taking an educational training course when they receive a Community Guidelines warning. These resources will provide new ways for creators to understand how they can avoid uploading content that violates our policies in the future.”
So, what’s actually changed?
YouTube is basically offering its creators a second chance to redeem themselves after violating the Community Guidelines. By taking part in an educational training course on the who, what, and why of the policy, creators can “stay in good standing” on the platform.
These courses will consist of seven questions relating to the specific guideline the creator broke and will take around 15 minutes to complete.
Say you upload a video meaning to educate your audience about sexual health, but YouTube decides it violates the Community Guidelines by not providing enough informational context under its nudity and sexual content policy.
Now, instead of getting a lifetime warning applied to your channel, you can take a course and learn more about the specifics of YouTube’s sexual content policies.
Why has this been introduced?
Well, there are several reasons.
Firstly, YouTube is listening to its community of creators. It recognizes that “…more than 80% of creators who receive a warning never violate [its] policies again”, which is a pretty strong evidence base for rule breaking being an honest misunderstanding.
Secondly, YouTube depends on a thriving community of creatives sharing their content and using the platform’s opportunities to build businesses through the Partner Program. If creators receive a strike against their channels and are unable to upload videos for a period of time, this can be hugely disruptive to any posting strategies and impact their financial bottom lines.
The introduction of this course marks a development of the existing strike system. Until now, breaking the Community Guidelines once meant an immediate one-week freeze to your uploads, do it twice and you’re frozen for two weeks, and (as per the rules of baseball) three strikes within 90 days means you’re out for good.
So think of this update a bit like the road safety courses you can take after being handed a speeding ticket. You can agree to give up a portion of your time to learn about the importance of driving within national speed limits and regulations and, in return, you’ll avoid adding points to your license.
What hasn’t changed?
YouTube has clarified that the sentiments behind or scope of its Community Guidelines are not changing as a result of this update, nor has the three-strike system. YouTube put this very firmly, saying “We’ll continue to remove any content that violates our policies, and creators who receive three strikes within a period of 90 days will still be subject to termination from YouTube.”
This means that creators can still find that the platform has removed their content if it violates its policies. Plus, repeat offenders may be banned from taking training courses in the future and (for the most severe violations) could still face termination.
So, while the new rules promise to make it better for creators, following YouTube’s Guidelines and producing high-quality content that doesn’t overstep the line are still mission-critical.
What are the YouTube Community Guidelines?
These days, we all know what YouTube is (even your technophobic mom and dad will probably know their way around it), but fewer of us know what’s what when it comes to the rules and regs.
So, here’s a little history lesson.
YouTube’s Community Guidelines date back to the platform’s humble beginnings. It’s basically a rule book that protects users from being exposed to explicit or inappropriate content, with the overarching goal of building a safe online space for all.
YouTube started dishing out one-time warnings for violations of its policies back in 2019. Since then, the strike system has proven highly effective at reducing the number of policy breaches, with well over three-fourths of offenders never breaking the rules again.
Confused? Don’t worry, we got you.
We hope that in future, YouTube will extend these courses to copyright claims and strikes, so that creators who use copyrighted music without a license can understand why it happened, how music copyright works and the fact that they can use the music as long as they get permission. In the meantime, that’s something we’ll continue to share information on – so fewer creators get caught out and left confused.
If you’d like to use copyrighted music in your videos and stay on the right side of copyright law and YouTube’s policies, then all you need to do is get a license (read = legal permission to use the copyright).
Lickd can help you there! You can have access to a catalog of over 1.3 million mainstream tracks from huge artists like Dua Lipa, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, and many more – all safe to use on YouTube. If you get a copyright claim, we’ll resolve it for you. Because creators deserve to have access to mainstream, copyrighted music and not for thousands of $$$, but starting from as little as $8. Sign up now and get 25% off your first license!