YouTube Updates Self-Certification Video Ad Guidelines Amid Social Unrest

YouTube began testing self-certification in July 2019 with creators and partners. Now the feature is rolling out to the entire community. 

Content creators who gain access to YouTube's self-certification process can rate their video against the advertiser-friendly guidelines. Creators tell YouTube what's in the video. The automation platform makes the decision whether the content can be monetized under YouTube's guidelines.

If the creator disagrees with YouTube's automated systems, there is an option to request a human review. The reviewer will check the video and provide feedback. The review will list examples within the video as to where the reviewer and content creator disagree, such as inappropriate language or sensitive issues around race, ethnicity, nationality, and religion.

For creators who are consistently and accurately rating their videos, YouTube will rely on the input rather than the automated systems.

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YouTube also will begin to use the creator's input to improve its systems for the entire community. 

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed the company's development plans for a platform to self-certify video content that is eligible for ads long before the company began testing it in July 2019 with creators and partners. The goal was to have creators self-rate their videos to determine whether they are safe for all ads, safe for limited ads, or are not suitable for ads at all.

As social unrest takes hold worldwide, it will become more important for YouTube to roll out to the entire YouTube community. 

Creators will need to rate all new and previously uploaded videos before they turn on ads. There is no need to rate existing videos that already have ads turned on -- YouTube has created a step-by-step process. 

While the self-certification is rolling out now, the updates to the guidelines were made in May. The added transparency into what videos can run with ads falls mostly under hate-themed content. 

Content guidelines are different on YouTube compared to television. On TV, advertisers have the opportunity to review content before it airs to determine whether they find it acceptable. On YouTube, advertisers can’t review every video that is seen along their ads.

YouTube states that its advertiser-friendly content guidelines reflect what advertisers are comfortable associating their brand with.

Advertisers can change their individual preferences, but YouTube's guidelines represent what is suitable for all advertisers worldwide, according to the guidelines.   

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