YouTube Says No to Sexual Humor, Profanity, Partial Nudity, Political Conflict, and 'Sensitive Subjects' In Partner Content

#YouTubeIsOver? Content creators mourn the platform's terms-of-service for monetizable videos.



So… there goes YouTube? The online-video monarch just released new* publicized rules prohibiting everything from "sexual humor" to any depiction of drug use to "sensitive topics" such as politics and war on its "advertising-friendly" video content. If it's not a Christian music video, a beauty vlog, or a hamster on a piano, it's probably a no-no under YouTube's newly-clarified terms of service for anyone hoping to monetize their channel.

YouTube content publishers—both those who are exclusively YouTube phenomenons and the offline comics, artists, journalists, and activists who rely on the site to spread (and help fund) their work—have been aghast at the platform's seemingly new policy, with #YouTubeIsOverParty now trending on Twitter. (See a sampling of those tweets below.)

Here's the complete list of things banned from YouTube content that's eligible for monetization:

  • Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor
  • Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism
  • Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity and vulgar language
  • Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items
  • Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown

YouTube warns that "If any of the above describes any portion of your video, then the video may not be approved for monetization. If monetization is approved, your video may not be eligible for all available ad formats. YouTube reserves the right to not monetize a video, as well as suspend monetization features on channels that repeatedly submit videos violating our policies."

* A YouTube spokesperson told Gizmodo that the advertiser-friendly content guidelines are not new, though the company has just begun to email content-partners when a video has had advertising removed. In practice, the site had been quietly unmonetizing videos that failed to meet ad-friendly policies already.