Culture

YouTube will start allowing monetization for select videos on coronavirus

Misinformation will still not be tolerated.

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Weeks after demonetizing videos on coronavirus, YouTube is slowly re-allowing creators to profit off such content. Initially, any video discussing the virus fell into the sensitive topic category, defined as "loss of life, typically as a result of a pre-planned malicious attack." Videos that address these incidents and don't violate community guidelines can still live on Youtube, but the platform deems them unsafe for advertising.

Given the scope of ongoing discussions surrounding coronavirus, CEO Susan Wojcicki issued a letter outlining a new policy.

"It’s becoming clear this issue is now an ongoing and important part of everyday conversation," Wojcicki said in the letter, "and we want to make sure news organizations and creators can continue producing quality videos in a sustainable way. In the days ahead, we will enable ads for content discussing the coronavirus on a limited number of channels, including creators who accurately self-certify and a range of news partners."

Next steps — The key here is allowing responsible sources to be compensated for their work surrounding the crisis. The group of creators and news organizations allowed to monetize coronavirus videos will expand in coming weeks.

"YouTube creators have shown time and again the difference it makes when we come together," Wojcicki said. "We appreciate everything you do to create positive communities that allow people to turn to each other in times of need. Let’s continue to support each other as we navigate these challenging times.

What about the bad stuff? — As far as misinformation, YouTube will continue to do its best to remove offending content. "Finding trustworthy content is especially critical as news is breaking, and we’ll continue to make sure YouTube delivers accurate information for our users," Woljcicki said.

Elsewhere in social media, Twitter released this morning a generic set of standards for brand accounts, including such insights as "be thoughtful about tone of voice." Both Instagram and its parent Facebook have announced their own measures to promote legitimate information and weed out falsehoods and exploitation. Meanwhile, Tinder had to scrap its international Swipe Night release out of fear of coronavirus.

On the wider tech front, Uber and Postmates have both announced financial aid initiatives for workers impacted by the virus.