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YouTube will now let creators appeal limits on advertising

The video service has a delicate balancing act to pull off

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Over the last few months, YouTube has been rolling out a series of new guidelines about which videos are able to make money through advertising. You need to have 10,000 total views on your channel before you can start making money off ads. You can’t make money on YouTube with hateful or incendiary content. And you can’t make a quick buck off the inappropriate use of family-friendly characters. (RIP Spider-Man peeing on Elsa.)

The result has been a dip in income for some creators, who complained they had trouble knowing which videos were being demonetized and why. So today, YouTube is announcing a way for creators to understand which videos have been flagged as inappropriate for all advertisers and a way to appeal what they see as unjust advertising bans, restoring the flow of marketing money.

YouTube videos will now have one of three icons on them to indicate what kind of business is available. Videos with a green dollar sign can earn money from all advertising and YouTube Red. Videos with a yellow dollar sign can earn money from a more limited set of advertisers and YouTube Red; some of these videos will get no ads at all. Finally, videos with a black dollar sign crossed out won’t be able to make any money at all.

YouTube acknowledged the tricky task at hand. In its blog post, the company wrote, “YouTube has always been a place for creators around the world to tell their stories, make connections and earn money. We care about users, creators and advertisers and have, for over a decade, strived to balance and align their interests. In the last few months we spent time addressing concerns from advertisers around where their ads are placed ... Over the next few weeks, we plan to roll out new icons that will give you a more detailed understanding of how each and every video on your channel (or channels) is monetizing as well as the ability to appeal if you think a video is misclassified.”