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YouTube Self-Certification overview

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

YouTube Self-Certification Program

Subscribe to the YouTube Creators channel for the latest news, updates, and tips.

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 check and decide.
  3. If you disagree with our automated systems, you can request a human review.
  4. The reviewer will check out your video, and give feedback. You can see where you and the reviewer disagree (for example, “inappropriate language” or “sensitive issues”) on content within that video.

If you consistently rate your videos accurately, 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.

Self-Certification is available for content marked as “made for kids”. Learn more about best practices for kids and family content, as well as our advertiser-friendly content guidelines designed specifically for kids content.

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 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 select On and then click Done and then click Next.
  2. Select any relevant features on the Advanced settings page and then click Next.
  3. Fill in the questionnaire on the Ad suitability page and then click Submit Rating and then click Next.
    • If your video does not include content listed in the questionnaire, you can scroll down and check the box next to “None of the above”.
  4. The Checks page uses our systems to check your video for ad suitability after you’ve rated it. Once this is done and then click Next.
  5. Choose your video’s visibility status.
  6. Click Done.

Are you self-rating content designated as made for kids? If so, be sure to understand our best practices for kids and family content. To find steps for marking videos as made for kids (to be able to self-certify them in Studio), visit this page.

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 gave.

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. This info is important because the more accurate your ratings are, the more we can use them to decide which ads to run.

How to read your accuracy rating
As you rate more videos, you can find out how well your ratings match up with those of our automated systems and 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 our automated systems reviewed your video, and the other shows that a policy specialist reviewed it.
    • COMPUTER: This icon means our automated systems made a monetization decision.
    • HUMAN: This icon means a policy specialist -- a real person -- reviewed the video.
  • Action: This column tells you what you can do about the monetization decision.
    • Request review: Our automated systems reviewed your video. Our automated systems don’t always get it right. You can click Request review to get one of our policy specialists to make a final monetization decision.
    • View feedback: A policy specialist has reviewed your video and made a final decision. Once a human reviewer decides, 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 our policy specialist’s feedback to better understand how the advertiser-friendly content guidelines work, or rate more videos. Once your rating accuracy improves, we'll 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?

When you have access to Self-Certification, you’ll see a message in YouTube Studio to let you know that you can now rate your videos. This typically happens a month or two after joining the YouTube Partner Program. 

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, policy specialists will still demonetize your video. On the positive side, if you consistently make accurate monetization decisions for your video, you may see fewer yellow icons over time. This change is because we’re using your ratings over our automated systems to figure out 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 wait for ad suitability checks to be completed during the upload process.
How can I improve the accuracy of my ratings?
There are 3 ways you can learn how to accurately rate your video:

Use the checks page during upload

You can use the checks page during upload to screen your video for ad suitability and copyright claims before publishing it.
Review our guidelines
You can look at our guide to self-rating against our advertiser-friendly content guidelines. This resource will help you understand what is and isn't suitable for all advertisers. If you’re self-rating content made for kids, be sure to understand our best practices for kids and family content.
Get feedback from YouTube reviewers
If you’re still unsure about rating your video, you can:
  1. Rate your video.
  2. Request human review.
    • When you rate your video as not suitable for ads and request human review, we'll expedite the review time.
  3. Our raters will then review your video and give a final monetization decision.
  4. 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 correct monetization decisions, it’s important that you rate your content to the best of your ability.

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

What are policy timestamps?

Timestamps for yellow icon appeals may be provided if your video used the Self-Certification flow on desktop. These examples are to help you better understand where our experts found policy violations in your content. The policy topics provided are an overview of what each guideline covers. For more detail on each guideline, review the full Advertiser-friendly Content Guidelines here.

Note: Timestamps do not provide direction on where to make edits, they offer greater clarity on policy violations. Videos, thumbnails, and titles edited with YouTube Studio to remove violative content are not eligible for re-review.

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're OK with it. On YouTube, advertisers can’t review every video displaying 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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