YouTube adds more transparency with timestamps for its yellow dollar signs

By 05/23/2024
YouTube adds more transparency with timestamps for its yellow dollar signs

YouTube is helping creators understand why yellow dollar signs show up on their videos. The platform has announced a new feature that will affect its monetization policy: When its moderation system chooses to restrict a video, creators will see timestamps that will let them know which parts of the video ran afoul of YouTube guidelines.

The rollout for the timestamps began on May 21. The new feature is included as part of YouTube’s self-certification process, which creators can use to check their videos for demonetization decisions. If, during self-certification, YouTube identifies a portion of a video that clashes with its advertiser-friendly guidelines, it will serve up a timestamp that directs the offending creator to their infraction. Currently, this system is only available on the desktop version of YouTube.

The presence of dreaded yellow dollar signs (which represent limited monetization) has been a thorn in creators’ collective sides for nearly a decade. Since those icons can spell financial trouble for creators when they show up, some YouTube users have pressed the platform to provide more transparency with regard to its demonetization decisions. With the timestamped infractions, creators will get the information they crave, though YouTube made clear that the timestamps are not exhaustive.


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“Creators have long told us they value detail when monetization decisions are made on their videos,” reads a statement attributed to a YouTube spokesperson. “Adding this feature to our self-certification process helps creators better navigate our advertiser-friendly guidelines and makes it easier for them to earn ad revenue from their content.”

More information about the timestamps is available on the Creator Insider channel, where a six-minute video outlines the ins and outs of the policy change. According to the video, the timestamps will roll out “gradually” across the platform.

Yellow dollar signs are never a welcome sight for creators, but with its new policy, YouTube is showing that it has listened to creator complaints regarding its lack of transparency. The new timestamps are an olive branch for those aggrieved YouTubers and a useful addition to the video certification workflow.

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