YouTube relaxes its restrictions on the use of profanity in French and English

The American giant YouTube, owned by Google, has relaxed its rules limiting the use of profanity in its French and English videos, reversing previous instructions which had caused the bronca of creators.

Regarding France, the platform announced in January that the presence of vulgar words in the first 15 seconds of a video would be likely to cause demonetization by depriving its author of advertising revenue.

Denouncing too strict rules, many creators have since complained of having had their old videos demonetized and have seen a loss of income. Some have taken to beeping potentially problematic phrases themselves to avoid demonetization, which can be retroactive.

Tuesday evening, the director of partnerships at YouTube France announced a relaxation. “Many words that were problematic (sea ** etc.) will no longer trigger demonetization,” said Romain Cabrolier on Twitter.

According to Google’s support page, the “rather vulgar terms such as +bitch+, +cunt+, +asshole+, and +shit+” as well as “most vulgar terms used in music video content or stand-up footage” can again generate advertising revenue.

However, it is still forbidden to use “very rude” words such as “damn” in the first seven seconds of the video, in the title, in the cover image of the video or too frequently, under penalty of not being able to draw no revenue from its content.

A relaxation was also announced on Tuesday evening with regard to videos posted on YouTube in English. In a separate blog post, the platform said so-called “moderate” swear words (“bitch”, “asshole”, “shit”) are allowed throughout the video, and some ads may be displayed even if the “f-word” (fuck, editor’s note) is pronounced in the introduction. On the other hand, no vulgarity is accepted in the title of the videos.

YouTube uses algorithms to analyze text and images and remove content that is illegal or does not comply with its policies.

Other rules aim to moderate content in order to protect advertisers who do not wish to have their brand associated with vulgar expressions. But no exhaustive list is communicated by the platform.

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