YouTube is updating its enforcement policies to give creators who break its rules a chance to wipe the slate clean. Starting today, those who receive a warning for violating the community guidelines will be able to take a training course designed to help them better understand how to steer clear of uploading videos that run afoul of YouTube's regulations. As long as they complete the course and don't violate the same policy within a 90-day period, YouTube will remove the warning from their account. In other words, they can go to detention to help avoid a suspension.
If they violate the policy for which they received the warning a second time in that roughly three-month window, YouTube will remove the video in question and slap the creator with a dreaded strike (which can jeopardize their chances of making a living from the platform). A creator who finishes a course and has the warning lifted from their account after 90 days but then violates the same policy again will be back at square one — YouTube will nix the offending video and give them another warning. They can go through another training program to have the new warning wiped from their account.
Another major change is that, until now, YouTube has given creators who cross the line a single, blanket lifetime warning. From now on, warnings will be applied to rule-breaking creators' accounts based on the specific policy they violate. So, they can have multiple warnings on their account and the option to take a training course for each one to have them wiped away.
YouTube started dishing out one-time warnings in 2019 for a first rule break, which it says offered "creators the chance to review what went wrong before facing more penalties" (i.e. strikes). The service points out that over 80 percent of creators who received a warning haven't broken the rules since. Nonetheless, YouTube says creators told the team "they want more resources to better understand how we draw our policy lines" and this new approach is geared toward that greater transparency.
It's worth bearing in mind that the three-strike policy is still in place. If a creator receives three strikes within 90 days, it's still likely that YouTube will punt them off the platform. Extreme policy violations are still subject to strikes and channel termination, even if a creator has gone through these training courses. There aren't any changes to the community guidelines here either.
"Looking ahead, we’ll keep working to make our policies easier for creators to understand," YouTube said. "We ultimately want creators to have the clarity they need to stay strike free on our platform — while maintaining a healthy experience for YouTube’s entire community."
Offering YouTubers a chance to learn and grow from their mistakes is a net positive even if some bad actors might try to abuse the system by deliberately uploading a few videos that cross the line each year. Meanwhile, Xbox recently adopted an eight-strike enforcement policy, under which its users can have strikes removed from their accounts after six months.