YouTube to Introduce Policy to "Differentiate Between Real-World and Gaming" Violence

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic for YouTube
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki

"The new policy will have fewer restrictions for violence in gaming but maintain our high bar to protect audiences from real-world violence," CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

In a blog post on Thursday morning, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki unveiled a number of updates coming to the platform. Among the announcements, Wojcicki addressed a recent policy that has caused controversy among YouTube's gaming personalities and audience.

"For gaming creators, we've heard loud and clear that our policies need to differentiate between real-world violence and gaming violence," Wojcicki wrote. "We have a policy update coming soon that will do just that. The new policy will have fewer restrictions for violence in gaming but maintain our high bar to protect audiences from real-world violence."

The announcement comes after the introduction of a policy in August that cracked down on "violent" and "mature" content the platform said was aimed at children. As a result, certain content from video games was flagged for removal. Various content creators on YouTube voiced concern over the policy after it was implemented.

Wojcicki also addressed other issues content creators have raised, including that of copyright claims on the platform. "One of the biggest issues we heard about from you this year was around copyright claims, in particular about aggressive manual claiming of short music clips used in monetized videos," she wrote. "I'm glad to report we've made progress. A few months ago, we made changes that removed the financial incentive to claim very short and unintentional music use. We also required timestamps for all manual claims so you know exactly which part of your video is being claimed, and made updates to our editing tools so you can easily remove manually claimed content from your videos."

On Dec. 2, the company outlined its new policy updates in a blog post. The changes are focused on three main areas: Uploads of video with gaming content which includes "scripted or simulated violence may be approved instead of being age-restricted"; there will be fewer restrictions on content with game violence, but YouTube says it "will still maintain [its] high bar to protect audiences from real-world violence"; and content with "violent or gory imagery [as] the sole focus of the video" will still be age-restricted. 

Dec. 2, 12:11 p.m. PT Updated with new policies