When YouTube marks a video with a yellow dollar sign, this means they've decided it's not suitable for all advertisers, and effectively demonetizes this content. Creators whose work is flagged in this way can request manual monetization review – and this is where things get even more frustrating for many, as Google's notorious “customer service” takes over.
Many YouTubers' livelihoods have stalled and if they were hoping YouTube had some assurances that weren't as generic as they usually are, they're going to be disappointed.
In a tweet, the giant's TeamYouTube account informs creators that the manual review process for videos that have been marked with a yellow dollar sign since January 17 is taking “longer than usual.”
If you’ve requested manual monetization review on videos with a yellow $ since 1/17, you may have noticed that it’s taking longer than usual to hear back.
The team is working to get this sorted out – thanks for your patience in the meantime.
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) January 23, 2020
Without explaining what the problem is, YouTube said that “the team is working to get this sorted out.”
Earlier this week, YouTuber MxR Plays said that the channel lost its ability to monetize videos due to long monetization delays, accusing the giant of unfair treatment as content that is not problematic is nonetheless being flagged as inappropriate.
And although “manual” review can be requested after the fact, it's algorithms on YouTube that decide which video can be fully monetized and assign it the green dollar sign, and which is limited as unsuitable for all advertisers and marked with a yellow dollar sign.
MxR said that long delays in the review process means videos are essentially demonetized even before a yellow sign is slapped on them – and this, according to the creator, happens with 90 percent of the channel's content, despite the co-hosts going out of their way to remove any potentially offending elements.
Meanwhile, many replies to the TeamYouTube tweet suggested that the slow process was nothing new at all; one YouTuber said they have been waiting for an entire year to have a decision on their monetization request, and that the response from the video giant's support comes down to one word: “Wait.”
When asked for how long this wait might go on, TeamYouTube replied, “Our team doesn't have specific timelines for individual channels.”
Thanks, but with all due respect, try to communicate with us creators a little better instead of leaving us hanging for days wondering what's going on. Ghosting people isn't very professional.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) January 23, 2020
Another YouTuber said the review process for their channel has been ongoing for the past 18 months, also complaining of the platform's lack of interest and communication with its creators, directly affected by this type of demonetization taking place over extended periods.
This lack of communication and feedback seems to bother YouTubers almost as much as the flagging of videos as unsuitable, since it leaves them in the dark about when the decision might be reversed in their favor.