As part of its efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus-related misinformation, YouTube had announced that it will not let creators monetize videos with content related to the disease. Now, however, the company seems to have changed its stance somewhat, with the company’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki, announcing that some creators and trusted partners, including a handful of reputable media outlets, will be eligible for ads in their coronavirus videos.
In a post on the official YouTube Creator Blog on Wednesday, she said: “… 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. We’re preparing our policies and enforcement processes to expand monetization to more creators and news organizations in the coming weeks”.
The company had been restricting the monetization of videos that had any more than a passing mention of the coronavirus as part of its ‘Sensitive Events’ policy that prevents unscrupulous creators from making money by spreading rumors and misinformation about events of significant magnitude, like terrorist attacks, riots and natural disasters. However, the company says that it has changed its stance towards the COVID-19 crisis because “It’s becoming clear this issue is now an ongoing and important part of everyday conversation”.
Medically known as SARS-COV-2, the novel coronavirus has been spreading around the world like wildfire, causing a disease known as COVID-19. While most people affected by the virus will only have mild symptoms or none at all, it is causing severe illness – even death – in some people, mostly senior citizens and those with underlying pre-existing conditions. With over 100,000 cases and more than 4,000 deaths globally, the outbreak was officially declared a pandemic by the WHO on Wednesday, underlying growing concerns among the medical community.