Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge
YouTube has adjusted its ad-friendly content guidelines to allow breastfeeding videos with nudity — but only in cases when a child is present — as well as videos with twerking, grinding, and other “sensual” types of dancing. The platform updated its guidelines on Thursday with the changes, which will carry over to gaming videos as well.
Previously, breastfeeding videos on YouTube that showed a visible areola were not eligible to earn ad revenue. Similarly, choreography videos that showed twerking, grinding, or in which the dancer wore minimal clothing were demonetized under YouTube’s policy.
The new updates read as follows:
Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding content where a child is present, even with visible areola, can now earn ad revenue. Previously, such content was only monetizable if no areola was visible. Also, breastfeeding thumbnails with focus on breasts without visible areola can now earn ad revenue.
Sensual dancing: Non-sexually graphic dancing involving rhythmic body movements, such as twerking or grinding, as well as dance featuring fleeting minimal clothing can now earn ad revenue. Previously such content was not considered monetizable.
YouTube also released a video on its Creator Insider channel on Thursday featuring monetization policy lead Conor Kavanagh, who explained the two updates further.
While dancing videos now have more wiggle room on YouTube (haha, sorry), the guidelines still restrict dancing videos with “deliberate and recurring breasts, butt, and genitalia”, as well as what YouTube calls “extremely minimal clothing”. Currently, YouTube’s nudity guidelines allow for minimally covered breasts or buttocks — as long as they’re not the focus of the video.
Critics have accused YouTube’s ad policies of unfairly targeting women and LGBTQ individuals. YouTube has made some adjustments to its policies over the years in response to these criticisms, but many creators still feel sidelined. Thursday’s changes signal that YouTube is willing to give creators slightly more breathing room — at least in these two specific examples.