Monetization update on COVID-19 content

Note: You may still see yellow icons on new uploads as our automated systems learn and are tuned to allow for broader monetization of COVID-19 content. If your content receives a yellow icon, yet you believe it is in line with our updated policies, please submit an appeal so our teams can review and update accordingly.

Content that references and/or features COVID-19 and adheres to our Advertiser-Friendly and Community Guidelines is now eligible for monetization

Below are some examples of COVID-19-related content that don't meet our policies, and will continue to have Limited or no ads   on that content:

  • Distressing Footage: Footage of people visibly suffering due to COVID-19, including:
    • People visibly sick in a hospital or medical care facility
    • People in distress (i.e. being forcibly removed from their location)
    • Note: Shots of hospitals or people coughing do not limit monetization, so long as they are fleeting and are to provide context to a story.
  • Medical Misinformation: Content that misinforms users about health matters related to COVID-19. This includes content that encourages non-medical tests or exams for COVID-19, or false/unsubstantiated claims about the cause, promotion of dangerous remedies or cures, origin or spread of COVID-19 that contradict scientific consensus. Examples of this include: 
    • Government or governments created the virus as a bioweapon
    • Corporations created the virus
    • COVID-19 is spread via 5G technology
    • COVID-19 targets certain ethnic groups
    • Content that claims that the pandemic is a hoax, cover-up or deliberate attack
  • Pranks & Challenges: Any COVID-19 related prank or challenge that promotes medically dangerous activities, such as purposeful exposure to the virus or incites panic including:
    • Licking toilet seat challenge
    • Pretending to pass out in public 
    • Coughing/sneezing (or pretending to) on bystanders or food produce
    • Falsely telling your partner you have coronavirus
    • Dressing up in hazmat suits and inspecting others
    • Scaring others into thinking you are infected

Note: Please remember these are just some examples, and that this is not a complete list. 

Creators in YouTube’s self-certification program no longer need to rate their COVID-19-related content as a “sensitive event” under the Sensitive Issue question.

Best practices for creating content about COVID-19

If you’re creating content about COVID-19, and want to ensure that your content is eligible for monetization, make sure you follow the guidelines below: 

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