Disclosing use of altered or synthetic content

We encourage creators' innovative and responsible use of content editing or generation tools. At the same time, we recognise that viewers want to know if what they're watching or listening to is real.

To help keep viewers informed about the content that they're viewing, we require creators to disclose content that is meaningfully altered or synthetically generated when it seems realistic.

Creators must disclose content that:

  • Makes a real person appear to say or do something that they didn't say or do
  • Alters footage of a real event or place
  • Generates a realistic-looking scene that didn't actually occur

This could include content that is fully or partially altered or created using audio, video or image creation or editing tools.

Disclose using the 'altered content' setting in YouTube Studio

To disclose content that is meaningfully altered or synthetically generated, the 'altered content' setting is available to creators using YouTube Studio on a computer. We'll expand this setting to other devices and YouTube apps in the future.

After a creator selects this field and uploads content, a label will appear in their video's expanded description. This label will appear for viewers using the YouTube app on a phone or tablet for now, but will show on other devices in the future.

Creators who make a YouTube Short using Dream Track or Dream Screen – YouTube's generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools – don't need to take extra steps to disclose. The tool will automatically disclose the use of AI for creators. For other AI tools, creators need to disclose their use during the upload flow.

Examples of altered or synthetic content

The following list includes examples of altered or synthetic content. Altered or synthetic content can include content that is fully or partially altered or created using any audio, video, image creation or editing tools. Realistic content and meaningful changes require disclosure, while unrealistic or minor edits don't. Bear in mind that this isn't a complete list.

Doesn't require disclosure by creators Does require disclosure by creators
  • Applying beauty filters
  • Digitally generating or altering content to replace the face of one individual with another's
  • Synthetically generating or extending a backdrop to simulate a moving car
  • Digitally altering a famous car chase scene to include a celebrity who wasn't in the original film
  • Using effects to enhance previously recorded audio
  • Simulating audio to make it sound as if a medical professional gave advice when the professional did not actually give that advice
  • Using an AI-generated animation of a missile in a video
  • Showing a realistic depiction of a missile fired towards a real city

 

Examples of content that creators don't have to disclose
Creators don't need to disclose unrealistic content that's altered or synthetic, or edits to realistic content that are minor. Minor edits are ones that are primarily aesthetic and don't alter the content in a way that could mislead the viewer about what actually happened.
Examples of content, edits or video assistance that creators don't need to disclose:
  • Not realistic
    • Someone riding a unicorn through a fantastical world
    • Green screen used to depict someone floating in space
  • Minor
    • Colour adjustment or lighting filters
    • Special effects filters, like those adding background blur or vintage effects
    • Production assistance, like using generative AI tools to create or improve a video outline, script, thumbnail, title or infographic
    • Caption creation
    • Video sharpening, upscaling or repair, and voice or audio repair
    • Idea generation

Bear in mind that the above list is not exhaustive.

Examples of content that creators need to disclose
To help keep viewers informed about the content that they're viewing, we require creators to disclose content that is altered or synthetic when it appears realistic or meaningful.
Examples of content, edits or video assistance that creators need to disclose:
  • Synthetically generating music (including music generated using Creator Music)
  • Voice cloning someone else's voice to use it for voiceover
  • Synthetically generating extra footage of a real place, like a video of a surfer in Maui for a promotional travel video
  • Synthetically generating a realistic video of a match between two real professional tennis players
  • Making it appear as if someone gave advice that they did not actually give
  • Digitally altering audio to make it sound as if a popular singer missed a note in their live performance
  • Showing a realistic depiction of a tornado or other weather events moving towards a real city that didn't actually happen
  • Making it appear as if hospital workers turned away sick or wounded patients
  • Depicting a public figure stealing something that they did not steal or admitting to stealing something when they did not make that admission
  • Making it look like a real person has been arrested or imprisoned

Bear in mind that the above list is not exhaustive.

Disclose altered or synthetic content

We require creators to disclose meaningfully altered or synthetically generated content that seems realistic. Creators can make this disclosure during the upload process.

YouTube Studio on a computer

  1. Go to YouTube Studio.
  2. Follow the steps to upload content.
  3. In the Details section, under 'Altered content', select Yes to respond to the disclosure questions.
  4. Continue to select other video details.

If a creator makes a YouTube Short that uses one of YouTube's generative artificial intelligence (AI) effects (such as YouTube's Dream Track or Dream Screen), no additional steps are needed to disclose currently. The tool will automatically disclose the use of AI for creators.

To help creators, we may proactively select disclosure on their behalf if they disclose the use of altered or synthetic content in the title or description of their video.

What happens after creators disclose

If creators select 'Yes' to indicate that their content is altered or synthetic, we'll add a label to their video's description field. These labels will show for viewers watching YouTube videos on a mobile device or tablet for now.

Label in the expanded description field

Additional label for sensitive content

High-quality and timely information about elections, ongoing conflicts, natural disasters, finance or health is very important. This type of information can greatly affect the wellbeing, financial security or safety of people and communities. For content about sensitive topics like these, a more prominent label in the video player may also appear for added transparency.

Other impacts of disclosing

Disclosing content as altered or synthetic won't limit a video's audience or impact its eligibility to earn money.

Risks of not disclosing

It can be misleading if viewers think that a video is real, when it has actually been meaningfully altered or synthetically generated to seem realistic.

When content is undisclosed, in some cases, YouTube may take action to reduce the risk of harm to viewers by proactively applying a label that creators will not have the option to remove. Additionally, creators who consistently choose not to disclose this information may be subject to penalties from YouTube, including removal of content or suspension from the YouTube Partner Programme.

Remember that we apply our Community Guidelines to all content on YouTube, regardless of whether it's altered or synthetic.

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