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YouTube rolls out first update to fix major demonetization problems

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30 percent less videos will be demonetized

Casey Neistat demonetization YouTube/CaseyNeistat

The number one issue facing the YouTube community right now is demonetization, and those working with creators are more than aware.

A new update from YouTube confirms that an updated algorithm will result in millions of videos becoming fully monetized instead of being listed as not suitable for all advertisers. In a new blog post, a YouTube representative said that through the process of creators appealing their demonetized videos, the technology has been “trained and improved” to help better figure out what’s actually unsuitable for advertisers and what’s fine.

“There will be a 30 percent reduction in the number of videos receiving limited ads as they move to being fully monetized,” the blog post reads. “In other words, millions more videos will become fully monetized.”

Monetization and demonetization has been an ongoing issue within the community for years, but it came to a head around April and May, during a period that creators refer to as the “Adpocalypse.” Following various reports that illustrated major ad placement on videos promoting hateful ideology or encouraging violence against certain ethnic groups, YouTube overhauled its monetization process to ensure that advertisers like Audi and Ford didn’t take their business elsewhere.

While this helped target some of the most inappropriate videos on the site, thousands of young creators working with games or newsy, political videos were hit with demonetization problems. The issue was brought to the forefront of conversation thanks to videos from top personalities including Philip DeFranco, Hank Green, PewDiePie and Casey Neistat.

According to the latest YouTube blog, the new algorithm began going into affect at 5:30 p.m. last night and should have been fully integrated as of 5:30 a.m. this morning.

“For your channel, you may see icons that were previously yellow turn to green,” the blog post reads. “You may also see icons that were previously green turn to yellow — 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.”

There are a couple of issues the blog post does not address, like concerns over the use of external links in video end slates. Those who want to link to their Patreon accounts, for example, won’t be able to do so unless their channel has 10,000 public views. The rule came into affect earlier this year and, like the algorithm designed to flag potential videos inappropriate for monetization, came out of fear over what websites and crowdfunding campaigns were being linked through YouTube.

“Creators are being asked to join the YouTube Partner program, so that we can evaluate the validity of the channel, as well as determine whether the channel is following our community guidelines and advertiser policies,” a YouTube representative told Polygon last month. “This update is meant to curb abuse and does not affect current YouTube partners or existing end cards.”

Just because YouTube has put these changes into affect, however, doesn’t mean it’s going to go off without a hitch. The blog post asks creators to continue appealing videos hit by demonetization if they feel the video should be monetized.

“Today’s performance improvement update was only possible because of the feedback you gave to the system through the appeals process,” the post reads. “As we continue to make improvements, we’ll keep you updated on changes.”