Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) updates

Current as of 18:14 UTC 2 April 2020

The impact of coronavirus (COVID-19 ) is evolving every day.  Please check back here for regular updates on how YouTube is addressing the situation.

Latest Updates

  • [16:00 UTC April 1 2020] COVID-19 health panels: Starting today, we’re launching additional health panels for COVID-19 that show in search results for COVID-19 related searches. These panels include text-based health info from the WHO and NHS, and content like symptoms, prevention and treatment. During this time, we want to continue to prioritize local health sources, so you may see both an information panel with a link to a local health authority and the COVID-19 health panel.
  • [18:14 UTC 2 April 2020] Monetizing COVID-19-related content: We’ve expanded monetization of content mentioning or featuring COVID-19 to all creators and news organizations. As always, content must follow both Advertiser-Friendly and Community Guidelines
  • [13:30 UTC 24 March 2020] Update on adjusted bandwidth usage: Last week, we temporarily defaulted all videos on YouTube to standard definition in the  European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK), and Switzerland (CH). Given the global nature of this crisis, we are expanding that change globally starting today. This update is slowly rolling out, and users can manually adjust the video quality. 
  • [18:00 UTC 19 March 2020] I’m a YouTube Creator, how can I help? You’ve asked us how you can help with the evolving COVID-19 situation, and as a YouTube Creator, here’s something you can do now → Spread the word to stop the spread. If you choose to use YouTube to share content urging people to #StayHome, consider videos that are helpful, fun and informational and tag #StayHome and ___ #WithMe (e.g. #StayHome and cook #WithMe). For inspiration, check out our channel
  • [17:00 UTC 16 March 2020] Protecting our extended workforce and community: We are taking the steps needed to prioritize the well-being of our employees, extended workforce, and the communities where they live, including reducing in-office staffing in certain sites. We will start relying more on technology to help do some of the work normally done by reviewers, which may result in some accidental removal of content that does not violate our policies. This may affect additional types of YouTube user and creator support and reviews, such as applications for the YouTube partner program or responses on social media.

Coronavirus and YouTube: Answering Creator Questions

Further information on updates:

Monetization 

[18:14 2 April 2020] Monetizing COVID-19-related content: We’ve expanded monetization of content mentioning or featuring COVID-19 to all creators and news organizations. As always, content must follow both Advertiser-Friendly and Community Guidelines

Here are some guidelines for uploading COVID-19-related content:

  • Fact check your work. Use reputable sources from organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and National Health Service to inform your content. 
  • Be sensitive to the fact this is an ongoing global crisis. We ask that if you choose to share COVID-19 related-content, you do so with the best intentions in mind. Please do not leverage this event for the selling or promotion of products or services.
  • Follow both Advertiser-Friendly and Community Guidelines. All monetizing content is subject to our Ad Friendly Guidelines and Community Guidelines. If your content violates these policies, it will be removed or receive limited or no ads. For specific examples of COVID-19 related content that isn’t eligible for monetization, check out this Help Center article. 
If your content doesn’t follow these guidelines, we may limit monetization on your COVID-19-related content, or in rare cases, temporarily disable monetization on your channel. Note: You may still see yellow icons on new uploads as these systems learn and are tuned to allow for broader monetization of coronavirus content. Please appeal if you feel your content is in line with our updated policies so our teams can review and update accordingly.

[16:27 UTC 25 March 2020] Expect Delays - Merch shelf item reviews​: 

  • If you are new to merch on YouTube, please note that you may not be able to enable the merch shelf and related features until our review capacity returns to normal.

  • If you’re already live with the merch shelf and want to add new merchandise items or modify the name or description of existing ones, you may need to wait longer than usual for those items to be reviewed and approved for display on your channel.

[16:53 UTC 20 March 2020] Expect Delays - YPP application reviews:  As we’ve already shared, we’re taking the steps needed to prioritize the health of our extended workforce, including reducing in-office staffing in certain sites, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a result, it will likely take longer than one month to hear back about your application to YPP. You can continue to check your application status here

We’re working with our partner companies to enable our extended workforce to be online at home where possible, including shipping laptops around the world, and ensuring they’re connected to the internet. As we take the steps needed to support the health of our extended workforce, we’ll strive to review as many videos and process as many applications as possible. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this challenging time, and will keep the updates coming as this progresses.  
 

[19:00 UTC 18 Mar 2020] Channel memberships perk reviews: As we take steps to prioritize the well-being of our extended workforce, reviews of creators’ perks for their channel memberships are likely to take much longer than usual. This means:  
  • You may not be able to launch memberships until our review capacity returns to normal.
  • If you’ve already launched and want to change your perks, you may need to wait longer than usual for those changes to be approved.
For channels that need to change channel memberships perks, you can communicate the changes to your audience through a video and/or a Community post. You can also create or update an intro video. All channel membership perks you offer — whether or not they're included in the perks listed on your offer screen — are subject to membership policies and guidelines.
[14:40 UTC 16 March 2020] Monetizing COVID-19-related content: We’re expanding the monetization of content mentioning or featuring COVID-19 to more creators and news organizations. If you’re a creator, you’ll receive a notification in YouTube Studio when this change has gone into effect for your channel.
Here are some guidelines for uploading COVID-19-related content:

We want to help you provide your viewers with high-quality content on this topic, and following the guidelines above will help ensure you do so. 

If your content doesn’t follow these guidelines, we may limit monetization on your COVID-19-related content, or in rare cases, temporarily disable monetization on your channel.
 

[16:00 UTC 11 March 2020] Updates to monetization for coronavirus-related content: Currently, the coronavirus situation is considered a “sensitive event”. Our sensitive events policy was designed to apply to short-term events of significant magnitude, like a natural disaster. Due to the ongoing nature of this situation, we’ll begin enabling ads for content discussing the coronavirus on a limited number of channels. This will include creators who accurately self-certify and a range of news partners, with more channels to follow. We’re preparing our policies and enforcement processes to expand monetization to more creators and news organizations in the coming weeks.

 

Policy and Copyright 

[17:00 UTC 16 March 2020] Protecting partners and our extended workforce: We have teams at YouTube as well as partner companies that help us support and protect the YouTube community–from people who respond to user and creator questions, to reviewers who evaluate videos for possible policy violations. We are taking the steps needed to prioritize the well-being of our employees, extended workforce, and the communities where they live, including reducing staffing at certain sites.

With this change, we will start relying more on technology to help do some of the work normally done by reviewers. This means automated systems will start removing some content without human review. As we do this, users and creators may see increased video removals, including some videos that may not violate policies. We won’t issue strikes on this content except in cases where we have high confidence that it’s violative.

As always, if you believe that your content was removed in error, you can appeal, but do note that our workforce precautions may also result in delayed appeal reviews. 

The situation with coronavirus continues to change day by day, and we’ll continue to take the steps needed to protect our teams and the communities where they live. This may affect additional types of YouTube user and creator support and reviews, such as applications for the YouTube partner program or responses on social media. Thank you for your patience while we take the steps needed to protect our workforce. 

Creator support 

[18:00 UTC 19 March 2020] I’m a YouTube Creator, how can I help? Many Creators have asked us how you can help with the evolving COVID-19 situation, and right now one of the best things you can do to help yourself, your family & friends, and your community in the days ahead is to slow the rate of infection by staying home as much as possible. 

As a YouTube Creator, here’s something you can do now → Spread the word to stop the spread - #StayHome. 

If you choose to use YouTube to share content urging people to #StayHome, consider videos that are helpful, fun and informational and tag #StayHome and ___ #WithMe (e.g. #StayHome and cook #WithMe or #StayHome and learn #WithMe). For inspiration, check out our channel


[16:00 UTC 17 March 2020] Longer than usual support response: As we take steps to prioritize the well-being of our extended workforce, expect longer than usual wait times for responses to questions across all forms of support including email, chat, and social.

Events and Spaces 

[01:45 UTC 16 March 2020] Temporary YouTube Space facilities closure: With the current global COVID health crisis, we continue to monitor any new developments and follow the guidance and recommended best practices set by the World Health Organization (WHO). In response, we are doing our due diligence to create a safe environment for anyone who visits a YouTube Space or YouTube event. As a global precaution to best protect the health and safety of our Creators and employees, our YouTube Space facilities have been temporarily closed until further notice. We apologize for this inconvenience, and did not make this decision lightly. We are closely following the situation and will provide updates here as they change.

Keep reading to learn more about how your local Space may be impacted:

  • Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro and are temporarily closed to all productions and events until further notice.
  • As a reminder, our Tokyo Space is currently closed as part of our planned move to our new Shibuya location later this year.

Please follow any of our local Space Twitter accounts, subscribe to your city’s email at YouTube.com/space, or check back here to follow all updates as they are posted.
 

Paid product support 

[23:48 UTC 17 March 2020] Longer-than-usual response times on support: Due to to the recent global health crisis related to COVID-19, we’re operating with a limited team. See your options to connect with a support specialist, or consult the Help Center.

Viewer updates

[16:00 UTC April 1 2020] COVID-19 health panels: Starting today, we’re launching additional health panels for COVID-19 that show in search results for COVID-19 related searches. These panels include text-based health info from the WHO and NHS, and content like symptoms, prevention and treatment. During this time, we want to continue to prioritize local health sources, so you may see both an information panel with a link to a local health authority and the COVID-19 health panel.

[13:30 UTC 24 March 2020] Update on adjusted bandwidth usage: Last week, we temporarily defaulted all videos on YouTube to standard definition in the  European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK), and Switzerland (CH). Given the global nature of this crisis, we are expanding that change globally starting today. This update is slowly rolling out. You can manually adjust the video quality of any video you're watching on a computer, TV, or mobile device. We will continue working with member state governments and network operators to minimize stress on the system, while also delivering a good user experience.

[21:16 UTC 20 March 2020] Adjusted bandwidth usage: As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, more people come to YouTube to find authoritative news, learning content, and make connections. We have measures in place to automatically adjust our system to use less network capacity. We’re temporarily defaulting all traffic in the  European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK), and Switzerland (CH) to Standard Definition. You can manually adjust the video quality of any video you're watching on a computer, TV, or mobile device. We will continue working with member state governments and network operators to minimize stress on the system, while also delivering a good user experience.

[21:35 UTC 19 March 2020] COVID-19 news shelf: A COVID-19 news shelf may now show on the YouTube homepage. The shelf includes news videos about COVID-19 from authoritative news publishers and local health authorities on our platform. The content in this shelf is populated algorithmically, using hundreds of signals, including relevance to COVID-19, how up-to-date it is, and region. You may not see the COVID-19 news shelf if a Breaking News or Top News shelf is already showing. You can always dismiss the COVID-19 News shelf on the homepage.

[16:00 UTC 17 March 2020] Longer than usual support response: As we take steps to prioritize the well-being of our extended workforce, expect longer than usual wait times for responses to questions across all forms of support including email, chat, and social.

[16:00 UTC March 11 2020] Info panels: Starting in February, we launched info panels that drive users to the World Health Organization or to local resources that reflect local government guidelines. The panel will be visible on the YouTube homepage, in Search for queries related to coronavirus, as well as on the watch page for videos related to coronavirus. We’ll donate ad inventory to governments and NGOs in impacted regions to use for education and information.

Community and comments

[20:20 UTC 20 March 2020] Community posts: Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on our workforce, Community posts are temporarily unavailable on some channels. This will not result in any new Community Guidelines strikes or penalties on your account.

Some Community Posts flagged by users or our automated systems may not be available on the homepage or in recommendations while waiting for our reviewers to take a closer look. As a result, these posts may receive less engagement than usual.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I go if I want more information about coronavirus (COVID-19)? 

The World Health Organization website has information and guidance regarding the coronavirus outbreak. We've also provided additional locally relevant sources below:

Country / Region Source
Australia Australia Government Department of Health
Belgium Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment
Brazil Ministério da Saúde
Canada Public Health Agency of Canada
France Gouvernement.fr
Germany Federal Center for Health Education
Hong Kong Center for Health Protection
Israel Ministry of Health
India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India
Indonesia Indonesia Ministry of Health
Italy Ministry for Health
Ireland Department of Health
Japan Japan Cabinet Secretariat
Malaysia Malaysian Health Ministry
Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport
Norway Health Norway
Singapore Ministry of Health
South Korea Korean Ministry of Health & Welfare
Spain Ministry of Health
Sweden Public Health Agency of Sweden
Switzerland Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Taiwan Taiwan CDC
Thailand Thailand Ministry of Public Health
Vietnam Vietnamese Ministry of Health
UK National Health Service
US Center for Disease Control
How will YouTube continue to keep me informed about additional changes we make regarding coronavirus (COVID-19)? 
The coronavirus situation is evolving every day, and we're committed to providing you updates, including any changes that may impact our processes and support systems. 

To stay informed on how you may be impacted by these changes, continue to check this article. We’ll update it on a regular basis.
How is YouTube fighting misinformation around coronavirus (COVID-19)?
We’re committed to providing timely and helpful information at this critical time, including raising up authoritative sources in search and recommendations and showing information panels, linking to locally relevant sources like WHO, on relevant videos. We will also continue to quickly remove videos that violate our policies when they are flagged, including those that discourage people from seeking medical treatment or claim harmful substances have health benefits. Finding trustworthy content is especially critical as news is breaking, and we’ll continue to make sure YouTube delivers accurate information for our users.
I’m a YouTube Creator, how can I help?

Many Creators have asked us how you can help with the evolving COVID-19 situation, and right now one of the best things you can do to help yourself, your family & friends, and your community in the days ahead is to slow the rate of infection by staying home as much as possible. This is that "social distancing" and “flattening the curve” you keep hearing about (read more here).

Of course there are individuals, including healthcare and government workers (some of whom are Creators themselves), who are critical to maintaining support systems across our communities who still need to leave their homes to travel to-and-from work, and we thank them for all that they’re doing during this time.

For the rest of us, it is individual actions that can help protect the most vulnerable people among us. Authoritative health & safety organizations are urging people to stay home when possible, so we can create a safer environment for those who are at the greatest risk from the virus.

So seriously, please stay home.

Here’s where you can help → Spread the word to stop the spread - #StayHome

If you choose to use YouTube spread the word about staying home, here's some quick tips on posting your content:

  • #StayHome and ___ #WithMe ideas. Consider content that is helpful, fun, informational and tag #StayHome and ____ #WithMe to join others doing the same e.g. #StayHome and cook #WithMe or #StayHome and learn #WithMe. For inspiration from Creators just like you, check out our channel
  • Fact check your work. Use reputable sources from organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and National Health Service to inform your content. 
  • Be sensitive to the fact this is an ongoing global crisis. We ask that if you choose to share COVID-19 related-content, you do so with the best intentions in mind. Please do not leverage this event for the selling or promotion of products or services.
  • For monetization, we are still rolling out our updated policies – to monetize this content, so avoid including “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” explicitly in your title or description; consider titles like "Keep your grandma safe - stay at home!" or "How to stay active at home" 
  • Follow both Advertiser-Friendly and Community Guidelines. All monetizing content is subject to our Ad Friendly Guidelines and Community Guidelines. If your content violates these policies, it will be removed or receive limited or no ads. For example, content that claims, harmful substances or treatments can have health benefits or content that violates our violent or graphic content policies is considered violative and will be removed.
How do I report misinformation around coronavirus (COVID-19)? 
Our Community Guidelines include policies that prohibit content which claims that harmful substances or treatments can have health benefits. 

If you find content that violates this policy, please report it. Instructions for reporting violations of our Community Guidelines are available here. If you find many videos, comments, or a creator's entire channel that you wish to report, visit our reporting tool.
Why is my content being demonetized? It’s not about coronavirus (COVID-19).
If you’re monetizing on YouTube, it’s important that your channel follows YouTube monetization policies, which include YouTube’s Community Guidelines, Terms of Service, Copyright, and Google AdSense program policies. Learn more about why we enforce channel monetization policies. If you want to monetize videos with ads, they must also meet our Advertiser-friendly content guidelines.

Our policies apply to all portions of your content (video or live stream, thumbnail, title, description, and tags). 

Our systems don't always get it right, but you can request human review of decisions made by our automated systems.
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