This protip is for YouTube creators who upload controversial videos.
YouTube has automated methods in place to detect and demonetize videos that go against their community guidelines or advertiser-friendly content guidelines-- which include sexual content, violence, and “hate speech”, to name a few.
It also checks for copyrighted material, but that's outside the scope of this post.
Normally, when you go to your video manager, it will look something like this, with green dollar signs next to the videos you've monetized. Hover over them, and the word “monetized” appears.
However, if one of YouTube's robots decides that your video is inappropriate, you will see a black dollar sign with a slash through it. I suspect this can also happen if you're the victim of a “report brigade”.
This means your video has been automatically demonetized, and is not eligible for re-monetization.
You likely had no idea this even happened.
YouTube, for some reason, doesn't warn you beforehand. It doesn't offer an explanation of any kind, and, as far as I can tell, there's no integrated way to appeal their decision.
I think that's bullshit.
Well, recently a video of mine was demonetized for using the word “drug” in the title. That's the only thing it could have been, considering the entire premise of the video was about why it's a dumb idea to do drugs with cabbies in third world countries. For once in my life, I actually said “no” to drugs-- and was punished for it.
So, here's exactly what I did to get my video back in good standing.
Get rid of any words or phrases in the title, tags, and description that some piece of shit algorithm might flag as inappropriate.
Go to the video page and scroll down to the very bottom, look for the tiny link that says “send feedback”, and click it. Note that you have to be on the actual video page, not the video manager page, for this to work.
A popup will appear.
You can use this to say whatever you want, I like to imagine Google has a warehouse full of interns reading them all day.
In my case, I didn't apologize. Instead, I said there was a mistake, that my video was incorrectly demonetized, that I understood the guidelines and didn't violate them.
Keep it pithy.
It took a few days, but eventually my Drug Abusing Taxi Driver video was back to normal. It might not work all the time, but don't give up. YouTube wants you to make money so they can make money. Hopefully this post will help if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.
If you would like to subscribe to my channel or watch the video in question, it's called sebbychan.