YouTube Self-Certification overview

When you have access to Self-Certification, we’ll ask you to rate your videos against our advertiser-friendly guidelines

YouTube Self-Certification Program

Why Self-Certification?

Your input can help us make monetization decisions faster and more accurately. With Self-Certification:

  1. You can tell us what’s in your video.
  2. Our automated systems will then make a decision. 
  3. If you disagree with our automated systems, you have the option to request a human review. 
  4. The reviewer will check out your video, and provide feedback. You’ll be able to see where you and the reviewer disagree (for example, “inappropriate language” or “sensitive issues”) on content within that video. 

If you consistently and accurately rate your videos, we’ll rely on your input over our automated systems. Your input will also be used to improve our systems for the entire community of monetizing creators. 

What you need to do

With Self-Certification, you’ll need to rate:

  • All new videos that you turn on ads for.
  • Previously uploaded videos that you now want to turn on ads for.

You don't have to rate existing videos that already have ads turned on.

How to rate your videos

Follow these steps to rate your videos against our advertiser-friendly content guidelines:

  1. Follow the steps to upload a video in YouTube Studio. When your video is uploading, select the Monetization dropdown and then click On and then click Done and then click Next.
  2. Select any relevant features on the Advanced settings card and then click Next.
  3. Fill in the questionnaire on the “Ad suitability” card and then click Next.
    • If your video does not include content listed in the questionnaire, you can scroll to the bottom and check the box next to “None of the above”.
  4. Choose your video’s visibility status. 
    • If you want to get an early indication of your video’s monetization status, you should set visibility as Unlisted. If you disagree with our automated rating, you can request human review from your “Videos” page.
  5. Click Done.

Understand your rating status

When you’re in the program, you’ll find a rating accuracy page.

  • Check your rating accuracy
  • Check where you and YouTube disagreed on the rating
  • Request feedback from our raters or view feedback our raters provided

This is where you can see how well your ratings history matches with that of our systems and human reviewers. We can typically determine how accurate you are after you’ve rated 20 videos and taken part in self-certification for at least a week. This information is important because the more accurate your ratings are, the more we can use them to help decide which ads to run on your videos.  

How to read your accuracy rating
As you rate more videos, you can find out how well your ratings match up with that of our automated systems and, if requested, human reviewers. 

Find your rating status page

  1. Sign in to YouTube using your channel that’s part of Self-Certification. 
  2. Go to https://studio.youtube.com/channel/UC/videos/contentratings.
  3. You’ll see the status ratings page.

What each column on your rating status page means

  • Video: The video being rated.
  • Date rated: The date you rated your video.
  • Your rating: What our systems predict your video’s monetization status will be based on how you rated your video. 
  • YouTube rating: What YouTube systems or our human reviewers believe this video’s monetization status should be. 
  • YouTube Review type: You’ll see 2 different icons. One shows that your video has been reviewed by our automated systems, and the other shows it’s been reviewed by a policy specialist. 
    • COMPUTER: This means our automated systems made a monetization decision.
    • HUMAN: This means a policy specialist -- a real person -- reviewed the video. 
  • Action: This tells you what you can do about the monetization decision.
    • Request review: This means your video has been reviewed by our automated systems.  Our automated systems don’t always get it right, so if you disagree, you can click Request review to get one of our policy specialists to make a final monetization decision.  
    • View feedback: This means a policy specialist has reviewed your video and made a final decision. Once a human reviewer makes a decision, the monetization status can't be changed. If you click View feedback, you’ll see differences between how you rated the video and how our policy specialists rated the video. Learn more about how advertiser-friendly monetization reviews work. 
How your rating impacts your channel
You’ll be given a rating status based on how often our monetization decision matches up with how you rated your video’s monetization status. 
If your accuracy is high: That means we’ll use your input to help decide which ads can run on your videos. 
If your rating accuracy is low, unknown, or if you haven’t rated many videos: You may need to review the feedback from our policy specialists to get a better understanding of how the advertiser-friendly content guidelines work, or rate more videos. Once your rating accuracy improves, we will use your input more often to help decide which ads can run on your videos.  
Your accuracy rating may change over time.

Program FAQs

How do I get access to Self-Certification?
We are rolling this out in stages to all creators.  
When you have access to Self-Certification, you’ll see a message YouTube Studio to let you know that you can now rate your videos.
When I start rating my videos, does this mean I'll always be monetized?

If your video doesn’t meet advertiser-friendly content guidelines and you try to turn on ads, your video will still be demonetized by our policy specialists. On the positive side, if you consistently make accurate monetization decisions for your video, you may see fewer yellow icons over time.  This is because we’re using your ratings over our automated systems to determine what ads to run on your videos.

Is there a way to see my video’s monetization before I make it public?
If you want to check the monetization status before making the video public, you can upload it as unlisted
How can I improve the accuracy of my ratings?
There are 2 ways you can learn how to accurately rate your video:
Review our guidelines
You can take a look at our ad-friendly guidelines and examples. This will help you understand what is and isn't suitable for all advertisers. 
Get feedback from YouTube reviewers
If you’re still not sure how to accurately rate your video, there are ways to remain in the program while you get more experience with our ad-friendly guidelines. You can:
  1. Upload your video as unlisted
  2. Rate your video. 
    • You may want to be a little more strict about your own rating, so if you think your content could fall into either ad-friendly or not suitable for advertisers, select not suitable for ads
  3. Request human review.
    • When you rate your video as not suitable for ads and request human review, we will expedite the review time.  
  4. Our raters will then review your video and give a final monetization decision. 
  5. Review the feedback from the rater.
What happens if I make a mistake and rate my videos inaccurately?

Since we want to use your ratings to make the right monetization decisions for your content, it’s important that you accurately rate your content to the best of your ability.

If we see repeated, egregious inaccuracies based on our advertiser-friendly guidelines, your channel will be reviewed for inclusion in the YouTube Partner Program.

Why are content guidelines different on YouTube compared with TV?
Advertisers have different expectations of YouTube vs TV. On TV, advertisers typically have the opportunity to review content before it airs to determine if they are OK with it. On YouTube, advertisers can’t review every video seen along their ads. Our advertiser-friendly content guidelines reflect what advertisers are comfortable associating their brand with. While advertisers can change their individual preferences, our guidelines represent what is suitable for all advertisers across the world.  
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