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Saying Goodbye to YouTube’s Community Contributions feature after September 28, 2020  4 Recommended Answers 368 Replies 1187 Upvotes
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Hi everyone,

One of the ways we help creators reach a wide audience and improve accessibility for everyone on YouTube is by providing high-quality captioning and subtitle tools. We have three ways to add captions to videos: manual captions uploaded by the Creator, automatic captions provided by YouTube, and captions provided by the Community, also known as Community Contributions. 

Community Contributions lets anyone contribute translated video titles, descriptions, closed captions and subtitles. These contributions are reviewed and published by creators, or automatically published after receiving enough community reviews. 

While we hoped Community Contributions would be a wide-scale, community-driven source of quality translations for Creators, it’s rarely used and people continue to report spam and abuse.
  • Both creators and viewers have reported problems with the community contributions feature, including spam, abuse, and low quality submissions. As a result, the feature is rarely used with less than 0.001% of channels having published community captions (showing on less than 0.2% of watch time) in the last month. Instead, creators are using YouTube’s alternative captioning tools. 
We’ve decided to discontinue the Community Contributions feature across all channels after September 28, 2020. You can still use manual and automatic captions, as well as third party tools and services. 
  • No other captioning tools are going away beyond Community Contributions. You can still add your own captions and subtitles, or use YouTube’s built-in automatic captioning feature.

  • If you have contributions currently saved as drafts, these will be available for the next 60 days (until Sept 28 2020), and you have until then to publish them before they’re removed. Any already published contributions (titles, descriptions, captions, etc) will continue to show up on videos and can be managed by Creators in YouTube Studio.

  • We know many of you rely on community captions and thanks to the feedback we received, YouTube will be covering the cost of a 6 month subscription of Amara.org for all creators who have used the Community Contribution feature for at least 3 videos in the last 60 days. These creators will receive a notification on their YouTube Studio Dashboard (News Card) in the coming weeks with more information about how to sign up for the service.

  • We’ve also obtained special pricing and benefits from additional third party vendors, who can assist with caption, translation, and subtitle needs. We have a list of these partners in our Help Center
We’re committed to improving existing accessibility and caption features, as well as introducing new and better tools for creators to reach the broadest possible audience. 

Hope this heads up is helpful!
Camilla, TeamYouTube
All Replies (368)
Very disappointed to hear this, as I am one of the (apparently few) creators who benefit greatly from community-submitted captions.

Will captions that have already been submitted by the community and published by me remain after September 28th?
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What about the volunteers who have been supplying good-quality community captions to creators? We have collectively put in thousands of hours captioning videos and there is little to no recognition of that in this post. Captioning in general is a neglected feature on YouTube and this change just makes YouTube even less accessible than it already was.

After this change comes into effect, how can a volunteer contribute captions to a creator's video (other than creating them on a different site and sending them to the creator for upload)? In this week's Creator Insider video, it was mentioned that an "Editor without Revenue" permission was being created and that it would eventually be extended to captioning. Is there a timescale for that feature coming into effect (and will it be before September 28th)?

While the free Amara sub will help creators out in the short term, it will divorce creators from their existing volunteer captioners which will make it harder to reconnect after the six-month free Amara sub has ended.

Over the entire lifespan of the captioning feature, YouTube have done absolutely nothing to build any kind of community around captioning and have ignored feedback from deaf creators (especially Rikki Poynter), deaf viewers, and other captions users. This is a backwards step for YouTube, an insult to all of the volunteer captioners who care about quality, and a significant blow to accessibility for anyone who relies on captions
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Thanks for the reply. I have to add: I wonder the degree to which YouTube's lack of notifications when community-submitted captions came in crippled this feature from ever becoming more popular. The only way I found out about submissions was when I manually checked the page, or (more often) when users would contact me directly and ask me to approve their submissions. The fact that creators couldn't be notified when submissions came in was strange and must have negatively impacted adoption of the feature.
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Why, after more than a month, I don't have a proven channel. And a person who has an account for 2 weeks already has the monetization enabled
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