Ask any YouTube creator who has dealt with the platform’s community guidelines strike system and they’ll probably tell you that it’s confusing and at least fairly inconsistent. Those are issues YouTube is looking to solve today by updating its community guidelines and overhauling how it hands out strikes. This includes consistent punishments for channels that break its rules, as well as a cushion for first-time offenders who may not have done anything with malicious intent.
The biggest change is perhaps the implementation of a warning for first-time rule breakers. Beginning on February 25, YouTube will issue a warning to any channel that breaks its community guidelines. There’s no strike associated with this warning, but you only get one – keep breaking the rules and you’ll start to rack up strikes.
YouTube says that 94% of creators who receive a first strike never receive a second one, so this warning is being put in place to give those who broke rules unknowingly a chance to become familiar with them and change their content. YouTube has also changed the way strikes work, implementing the same punishments for all strikes regardless of the rules that were broken. Previously, there were different punishments for different infringements, which could be confusing for users.
If your channel gets hit with a strike, your account will be frozen for a week, which means no uploading, live streaming, or “other channel activities.” Assuming you don’t break the rules again, the strike will be removed after 90 days, but earn a second strike in that time and your account will again be frozen, this time for two weeks. Earn a third strike in a 90 day period and your channel will be terminated.
YouTube is also making some changes in the name of increased transparency. Now, the company says, email and desktop notifications will provide more information about which of the community guidelines were violated. If you’ve ever received a strike and you weren’t sure why, this might help with that. You’ll also be able to appeal YouTube’s decision, which is a major change that we imagine creators will be thrilled about.
You can read more about these changes over on YouTube’s Creator Blog, or you can watch the video embedded above for a quick rundown of all that’s changing. To hear creators explain it, YouTube needs to work on a lot, so hopefully these changes help get the ball rolling in the right direction.