Following the Logan Paul suicide forest controversy a couple of weeks ago, YouTube has come under fire for improperly vetting its content. While Google severed ties with the popular content creator, it was also reported that the firm would be manually scrutinizing its most popular channels for offensive content, among other things.
Now, some of these changes have come to light, courtesy of a blog post from Google.
Google notes that while 2017 was a tough year in many aspects, there was a 40% year-over-year increase in the number of content creators earning money in six figures from the site. In 2018, in an effort to ensure that "bad actors" do not harm their audience, and that worthy content creators continue to be rewarded, the firm is changing its monetization policy.
Starting from today, only those channels will earn ad money through the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) which have over 4,000 hours of watchtime in the past 12 months, and at least 1,000 subscribers. This is a considerably higher threshold than the previous one, which allowed monetization based only on the requirement that the channel has 10,000 lifetime views.
While these changes currently apply only to newcomers, they will be implemented for existing channels from February 20, 2018 as well. Channels that reach this threshold will now also be manually screened for potentially offensive before they are inducted into the YPP.
Google hopes that through these changes, it'll be able to divert money from bad actors and prevent offensive content from being monetized. The company went on to say that:
While this change will tackle the potential abuse of a large but disparate group of smaller channels, we also know that the bad action of a single, large channel can also have an impact on the community and how advertisers view YouTube. We'll be working to schedule conversations with our creators in the months ahead so we can hear your thoughts and ideas and what more we can do to tackle that challenge.
Although the new threshold may potentially affect a large number of content creators, Google says that these channels can utilize the Creator Academy, Help Center, and Creator Site to grow their audience. The firm also noted that 99% of the channels falling below this threshold were making less than $100 per year in 2017, and 90% earned less than $2.50 in the last month.