YouTube Shocking Content Policy Update
In this journey as a YouTube content creator, one thing has remained constant - change. Adapting to policy changes is as much a part of this journey as the creation process itself. As we approach the date of yet another significant update - August 30, 2023 - let's take a moment to reflect on what this new change means for us as creators and for our audiences.
Google's announcement of its revision to the 'Shocking Content' policy in the Google Publisher Restrictions has been met with mixed feelings. On one hand, there is hope - hope that, at last, the platform is taking substantial steps to foster a safer and more inclusive environment. On the other hand, there is hesitation, born out of our history as creators and our experiences with the platform's previous attempts at regulation and censorship.
The update delineates gameplay imagery will only be considered to contain "gruesome, graphic, or disgusting accounts or imagery," or to "depict acts of violence" under very specific circumstances. These include instances where it depicts acts of torture, sexual violence, violence against minors, violence against prominent real-name persons, or violence against an individual or group associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.
At first glance, this policy change appears to be a move in the right direction. By defining 'shocking content' more explicitly, Google provides us, the creators, with a clearer understanding of what content could face restrictions. And more than that, it feels like a breath of fresh air after Susan Wojcicki's departure as the head of YouTube, signaling a potential shift in the platform's direction.
But it's impossible to ignore the undercurrent of caution that accompanies this hope. As creators, we've experienced first-hand the unintended side effects of such policies in the past. Censorship, no matter how well-intentioned, has historically had a stifling effect on creators. The financial implications and impact on our reach, our exposure, and ultimately our ability to continue creating content, cannot be overlooked. Even now, there's an element of apprehension – will these changes be a bane or boon to our creativity and livelihood?
Yet, travelling through this complex web of emotions, I keep coming back to the notion of hope. Hope that this policy change, although not perfect, is a step towards creating a more responsible and respectful content creation environment. A space where we can create content that's engaging and inclusive, and does not perpetuate harm or discrimination.
In the weeks leading up to August 30, I plan to delve deeper into this policy change, assessing its implications on my content and creative process. For fellow creators who have previously faced restrictions due to 'shocking content,' you will now have the opportunity to request a review or appeal for your site or app, a much-needed move towards transparency and fair judgement.
As we navigate this change together, let's continue to foster dialogue and discuss these updates openly. This policy update, like those before it, will test our adaptability, our creativity, and our resilience. But it also presents an opportunity - a chance to shape our content and our platform in a manner that respects and protects our diverse global audience.