YouTubers are finding that older content is being restricted and/or demonetized because of newly implemented content and advertising rules. Some video creators are protesting the changes and are even considering leaving the platform.
According to Eurogamer, YouTube introduced a new advertising policy back in November 2022, placing further restrictions on and de-monetizing certain videos featuring violence or profanity. Obviously any kind of real world violence is subject to demonetization or removal, depending on the exact content, but this new policy introduces restrictions on video game violence as well.
Basically, if a video features profanity or gory violence within the first eight seconds of the video, it is not eligible to receive ad revenue. Additionally, most profanity is now treated equally, meaning that vast majority of harsh words from “crap” to “shit” are the same “level” of profane in the eyes of the algorithm. The only exceptions are “hell” and “damn,” which can be used freely. This is a contract to earlier policy, which rated different profane words on a scale from light to extreme.
As a consequence of these new policies, Let’s Play channels with vast backlogs, which they rely on for income, can no longer receive money from those older videos. While the new changes concerning monetization were outlined, the fact that videos would be flagged regardless of their release date was news to many creators. Gaming YouTuber Daniel Cordren, from RTGame, contacted YouTube Support for assistance, but found that doing so resulted in more videos being restricted, often without clarification. Creators like Penguinz0 have also criticized YouTube for the lack of clear communication. As of yet, YouTube has not officially commented on the controversy.