As you may recall, over the last two years, YouTube has faced significant advertiser backlash over the placement of its ad content, with brand promotions appearing next to offensive, even criminal, user uploaded videos, potentially harming brand credibility through unwanted association. YouTube has been working to update its policies to offer advertisers more protection on this front, giving brands more ways to control where their ads appear.
Among those changes, YouTube has also clarified its position on profanity, and how it categorizes the use of profanity in videos, and recently, YouTube sought to provide more transparency on this process by explaining its guidelines (in a new 'Creator Insider' video) and publishing a more detailed breakdown of its profanity 'tiers'.
As explained in the video, YouTube hasn't changed its profanity policies, but it is seeking to be more transparent in how it operates, with a new Help Center post outlining the specifics.
In relation to the use of profanity specifically, YouTube's tiers are as follows.
This is from the creator perspective - essentially, YouTube will allow some level of profanity, but many brands will switch off ads for more extreme usage - and adding profanity to the title of a video is a big no-no in regards to content monetization.
There's more specific information for each level of YouTube's content guidelines here, which, as above, is aimed at creators, but also provides an overview to help brands get a better understanding of what types of content YouTube allows, and can show their ads next to, within each category.
Of course, businesses are able to control where their ads are shown, to a large degree, but it is worth noting the regulations around each category to ensure brand safety.