Update 2/20/2019: An earlier version of this article stated that these changes would apply to YouTube's copyright strike system - this is incorrect, and we regret the error. The rule tweaks outlined below only apply to YouTube's Community Guidelines strike system. The article has been updated to reflect this information.
Ever since Google bought YouTube years ago, a number of controversial changes have been made.
Heavy overhauls of YouTube's advertisement system, as well as tweaks to the way recommendations and subscriber notifications work, have caused many once-popular creators to see their revenue and views plummet.
With so many pitfalls already present, it can be particularly frustrating for creators when they run afoul of YouTube's Community Guidelines.
If a creator publishes any piece of content (whether it be a livestream, a video, or a thumbnail) that contains something YouTube deems to be hateful, sexist, or otherwise harmful in nature, that individual can receive a Community Guidelines strike.
Starting from the first time a channel is hit with one of these strikes, penalties begin to accrue. They start small, but can escalate into full channel deletion.
Now, Google is finally making some tweaks to this system to make it a bit more forgiving and straightforward.
The first change of note is that YouTube will no longer penalize a creator for their first "offense." Instead, when a channel receives its first strike, its owner will be given a warning that informs them about YouTube's Community Guidelines.
After this warning, strikes will mostly function as normal, but they'll now be more consistent across all portions of YouTube. For example, the penalty for allegedly uploading harmful material in a livestream will now be the same as it would for doing so in an actual video.
For the unaware, the first un-appealed strike against a channel results in a one-week freeze on the ability to upload new videos, livestreams, or other content.
The impact of a second strike within 90 days is almost identical, but it kicks the penalty up to two weeks. The third strike received within the same time frame will result in channel termination.
It's unclear whether or not these few changes will make any meaningful difference when it comes to protecting channels from un-justified termination or penalties, but it should give them a bit more breathing room due to the new warning system.