At the start of November, tech reviewer Ben Schmanke published a YouTube video which compared the cameras on the iPhone X, the Samsung S8, and the LG V30. YouTube gave the video a green dollar sign icon which meant that it was suitable to run all advertisements. However the next day, Schmanke saw that the classification icon was changed to a yellow dollar sign which meant that his video could only make money from a few advertisements.
“YouTube said this shouldn’t happen, but obviously it keeps happening,” Schmanke said of the switch from green to yellow. “Overnight I gained a good 10,000 or 20,000 views, so that’s lost money on both my part and their part.”
Schmanke is just one among several frustrated YouTubers who have raised their concerns over YouTube demonetizing or limiting the ads on their iPhone x video reviews within the recent weeks. Dylan Hong, who runs a small tech channel on YouTube, says he was surprised when his video about iPhone X accessories was immediately flagged as a yellow-icon, limited-ad video.
“I make super advertiser-friendly, family-friendly videos,” Hong told The Verge. “It was just an algorithm fail that a bunch of iPhone X videos from really reputable reviewers and much smaller channels just got auto-flagged from the beginning.”
It was reported by TechnoBuffalo that YouTube’s algorithm began marking some new iPhone X videos as “unsuitable for advertisers” at the end of last month. This only adds on to the multitude of issues that have been raised with regards to YouTube’s ad revenue and algorithm.
Schmanke and Hong both said that they appealed the classifications of their iPhone X review videos and YouTube restored monetization within a few hours. In as much as YouTube acted promptly many YouTubers are still frustrated with the current demonetization of their videos and the algorithm used. The lack of transparency has left may YouTubers asking why some videos are getting demonetized even though they seem completely harmless like unboxing of a new Phone.