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YouTube’s “Strikes” System Is About to Get Tougher

Tech

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Once unclear and inconsistent, YouTube’s sanctions for community guidelines violations are about to get cleaner and easier to understand.

Starting on February 25th, YouTube’s mysterious strike system will be getting much clearer.

“You told us that consistent enforcement, clear policies, and transparency about the impact of a strike are most important,” the Creator blog announced earlier this week, “So we’re introducing more opportunities for everyone to understand our policies, a consistent penalty for each strike, and better notifications.”

Previously, the system was criticized for being unevenly enforced and inconsistent with the nature of the violation. Now, the process is simpler to understand and more consistent. Creators will have one consequence-free strike levied against their channel before actions are taken on their account. Then, each strike within a 90 day period will result in a lengthier “freeze” on an account until it is eventually removed. The first “strike” yields a one-week hold (in which no content can be added or streamed). The second strike yields a two-week hold. The third will result in a channel being shut down. And at every turn, email and mobile notifications will explicitly name the reason for the strike, a piece of the puzzle that was previously unclear.

It should be noted, this strike system applies to violations of the community guidelines and applies to uses of nudity, violence, hate speech, spam, or scams. It operates independently of the sanctioning system for copyright violations, and strikes in one system won’t affect strikes from the other.

Despite news coverage that paints YouTube as a place where guideline-breaking content proliferates widely, the Creator blog reports that 98% of users never violate community guidelines. And when they do, 94% of accounts don’t do so again after their first strike. But it is the hope that these changes in clarity and consistency will lessen those that do happen—all while demonstrating that the platform does care about the input, health, and experience of their creators. “Our strikes system is an important way for us to help creators and artists understand when they’ve crossed the line by uploading content that undermines that goal, and your feedback has helped to make this system work better for the entire community.”

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