YouTube Warns Takedowns May Increase During Coronavirus Crisis

YouTube has confirmed that it will be relying on automation and machine learning to detect potentially harmful content being uploaded to the platform during the current crisis. Find out what that means for creators.

Even if your video has nothing to do with the coronavirus, your content still may be demonetized. Worse still, it may even slow down your application into the YouTube Partner Program, so you can't monetize your channel at all.

If you haven't already got the YouTube Creator Blog bookmarked, now is the time to do so, as this will be a fountain of information over the coming weeks and months.

In a blog post dated March the 16th 2020, YouTube has informed us that to reduce the risk of coronavirus, they are reducing in-office staffing, to quite rightly prioritize the health and safety of their employees. Creators who log in to their account are also seeing this announcement:

The knock-on effect of this for creators is that YouTube will now be relying much more on machine learning to detect potentially harmful content on the platform.

To be clear, this is not just about coronavirus or COVID-19 content. This is all of the other potentially harmful and dangerous content that's pushed onto YouTube every single day and YouTube has comprehensive guidelines for.

What Increased YouTube Automation Means For a Creator

Now there are very few human reviewers looking at this content, and YouTube is relying on AI and machine learning. As a result, what you can expect to see, as creators, is an increase in video removals, even if, ultimately, they don't violate community guidelines.

Why? Because basically, machine learning sometimes gets it wrong, as we well know. Because of this expected increase in errors, YouTube won't issue strikes unless they have a high confidence that the video does actually violate guidelines.

And YouTube does already have an appeal system in place which you can still use but because the human workforce is less likely to be in the YouTube offices right now, you can expect delays in those appeals being reviewed.

Because of this, YouTube will be more cautious about the content they promote. Live streams and unreviewed content may not be searchable, or discoverable on the homepage or through recommendations.

The Impact on YouTube’s Partner Program

So, we know there are fewer people working at YouTube offices and that's completely understandable. Everybody, at this time, needs to be safe, and stay healthy.

YouTube has talked about how video content is going to be impacted on the platform. But what they didn't mention is the YouTube Partner Program. And I think that's going to be under similar constraints because human reviewers do look into each and every channel that they allow into that.

So if you have applied for the YouTube Partner Program or monetization in the last four to six weeks, don't be surprised if there is a significant delay. And folks, we have to accept that.

Now as well as the YouTube Creator Blog website, there is also a super useful support page that I will recommend you bookmark as well. And it's all to do with coronavirus and COVID-19 updates.

YouTube has set up a dedicated update page on the YouTube Help website, which is being updated on a daily basis. So as well as the stories we've covered today, they are also closing their YouTube Space facilities temporarily and will be allowing creators to actually monetize a coronavirus and COVID-19 content. We'll have more on that in the near future.

As of right now, you may have noticed that if you do try and monetize content that even includes a passing mention of the coronavirus, you will almost certainly get the yellow dollar icon. As well as daily updates, the dedicated support page has a lot more information, including FAQs on monetization around coronavirus, and COVID-19.