In early August I described how my YouTube channel was demonetised in My YouTube Channel Has Been Demonetised – Part 1, where I was given 30 days to review the content and apply again. I then watched a few videos from others in the same situation, picked up some tips, cleared out a lot of crappy videos, redesigned the channel homepage and on 2nd September applied for my channel to be re-monetised. A couple of days later I received an email from YouTube telling me that my application wasn’t successful for the very same reason – I am apparently using someone else’s content. I was then given another 30 days to get my act together, being told I could reapply on 2nd October, but I’ve been busy with other more important matters, not to mention still scratching my head over being rejected, so I left it until this month, November.
Over the last couple days I’ve been delving further into the possible reasons why YouTube refuses to monetise my channel. I have to do this because the company doesn’t see fit to explain why, except that I am apparently a thief and am stealing someone else’s material, blah, blah, freaking blah.
Yesterday, while looking through the numerous options in YouTube Studio, I clicked on the Copyright button to see what I could find and lo and behold, I found two videos that had a 100% match with other people’s videos. This was pretty much a Eureka! moment because I honestly thought that I had found the culprits – in other words, someone else’s content. But this is when it gets strange, because it seems I had uploaded one of the videos (Driverguide) in question to my other YouTube channel many moons ago and it’s a channel that I use simply for private videos and don’t intend to do much with.
So yes, the very same video appeared on two different YouTube channels and clearly their algorithm picked that up, offering me the options to either request removal or to contact the other channel. So I contacted myself through internal telepathy and we both agreed to remove the video from both of my channels as it was crap anyway – problem solved.
The second video, A Global Map Of Wind etc, also resides on an Arabic channel and when I chose the option to contact them, no email address was available, so it was a dead end and I simply deleted the video from my channel, thus removing any matches to other channels.
You still with me?
But this is where I am left scratching my head. The global wind map video was simply a screen recording I had done for a bit of fun more than five years ago and had uploaded to both of my channels. I therefore have to ask myself, how can it be that the two videos are identical? The law of probabilities tells me that it’s impossible for two screen grabs of the same subject matter, taken at different times by two entirely different people on different continents, to be exactly the same. Similar, yes, but not the same. Unless of course the Arabic channel had stolen my video and uploaded it to their own channel. The end result is that I removed that video also, thus leaving no matches with anybody else’s videos and I was satisfied that I had solved the mystery as can be seen in the image above – no matches!
It’s all a guessing game!
I think YouTube expects us to be water diviners or probably telepathic, not to mention that the company insults our intelligence with every communication it sends us. Someone else’s content implies that there is an implicit match. I followed that path, found two matches and dealt with the issue, but it still doesn’t satisfy their so-called reviewers because I was turned down for monetisation yet again for exactly the same reason.
It’s not so much the monthly income that bothers me, although that is certainly welcome, but the fact that the reason for rejection is so utterly vague and repetitive without pinpointing the issue as YouTube sees it. It feels like being back in school and being told to stand in the corner for a month while you watch the rest of the kids having fun outside, but when you ask why, they tell you that you’re too stupid to understand. Added to which there’s no real channel for human interaction with YouTube support. Frankly, I’d have more luck talking to my cat.
I sincerely hope that this article thread doesn’t extend into next year and if I manage to get a result, I will of course put pen to paper as usual.