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YouTube Loosens Restrictions, Expands Monetization for Drug Content

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Online video mainstay YouTube announced recently that it will be altering its monetization policies for three video types: educational, controversial, and content containing adult themes.

“Based on creator and advertiser input, we’ve updated our guidelines to allow more content to become eligible for full monetization (green icon) while continuing to maintain advertiser industry standards,” said YouTube in a post on its support site.

YouTube also expanded its monetization policies to allow for adult language and moderate profanity used in the first 30 seconds of a video. It includes using words like “shit” and “bitch”.

In addition, YouTube will allow ads to run on more types of content, meaning that educational, documentary, or news content can now include drug-related topics. 

“We’re expanding monetization on educational, documentary or news content that may include violent interactions with law enforcement, recreational drugs and drug-related content, or sensitive events. We’re also expanding monetization for controversial issues where non-graphic, objective discussions of controversial issues are in the video,” said YouTube in a post on its support site.

The update means more drug-related videos will now be eligible for advertising placements, including materials devoted to the discussion of drugs without promoting or “glorifying” their use, informational videos about the drug business and music videos with “fleeting depiction of drugs.”

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However, YouTube’s policy on the demonstration of drug use (including consumption and effects), production, and distribution, such as “how to find a dealer” or “best places to get high,” remains unaltered. 

The changes in YouTube’s policy may reflect the increasing acceptance of both cannabis and psychedelic drugs in the United States and Canada, as well as both the demand and emerging market for accessible educational content surrounding the growing sector.

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