YouTube will slowly begin reversing its decision to not allow monetization of videos that include more than a passing mention of the coronavirus.
CEO Susan Wojcicki explained the reasons for the about-face in a blog post: “Our sensitive events policy was designed to apply to short-term events of significant magnitude, like a natural disaster. It’s becoming clear that this issue is now an ongoing and important part of everyday conversation, and we want to make sure that news organizations and creators can continue producing quality videos in a sustainable way.”
She said YouTube will begin enabling ads on content discussing the coronavirus on a limited number of channels in the days ahead, including creators who accurately self-certify and news partners.
Wojcicki added that the Google-owned video site is preparing its policies and enforcement processes to expand monetization to more creators and news organizations in the coming weeks.
The video site is also donating ad inventory to governments and nongovernmental organizations in impacted regions so that they can share timely and useful information.
Wojcicki wrote, “It remains our top priority to provide information to users in a responsible way. From the very beginning of this outbreak, we’ve worked to prevent misinformation associated with the spread of the virus. We’re also raising up authoritative sources in search and recommendations and showing information panels on relevant videos. YouTube will continue to quickly remove videos that violate our policies when they are flagged, including those that discourage people from seeking medical treatment or claim that harmful substances have health benefits. Finding trustworthy content is especially critical as news is breaking, and we’ll continue to make sure YouTube delivers accurate information for our users.”