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YouTube Says Videos Flagged as Advertiser-Unfriendly Will Drop by 30%

YouTube said it has improved the accuracy of its system for automatically “demonetizing” videos — resulting in 30% fewer videos being misclassified as running afoul of the service’s guidelines for advertiser-friendly content.

The Google-owned video service in June enacted stricter policies this summer for YouTube content that will be ineligible for advertising. That was part of Google’s crackdown on ads being served in offensive videos, after hundreds of marketers suspended YouTube spending earlier in the year after it came to light that their ads were appearing in videos espousing hateful rhetoric.

But many creators complained that the new rules went too far — and that they were being unfairly penalized. In August, YouTube rolled out new monetization icons as an attempt to provide more transparency into the process: a green dollar sign means fully monetized; yellow means it’s eligible to earn money through YouTube Red views but will have limited or no ads; and a dollar sign with a slash through it means it’s completely ineligible for revenue sharing. YouTube also introduced an appeals process if creators think their videos have been misclassified.

Since then, more than 1 million human reviews have helped train and improve the machine-learning system, according to YouTube. And that’s resulted in the new changes to the ad-flagging system that will result in “millions more videos” becoming fully monetized, a YouTube rep wrote in a post Thursday on the service’s help forum announcing the change.

YouTube said the update on the ad-classification system began Thursday at 2:30 p.m. PT and was completed by Friday at 2:30 a.m. PT.

With the change, YouTube channel owners may see icons that were previously yellow (limited or no ads) turn to green (full monetization) — although they may also see icons that were previously green turn to yellow, according to YouTube.

“This updated system is an improvement, but it’s not perfect. We know there’s much more work to do, so if you feel the yellow icon is a mistake, please continue to appeal,” the YouTube rep wrote.

The status of YouTube videos that have already manually reviewed previously will not change, the rep added.

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