Say goodbye to community captions, one of YouTube’s oldest features. According to Google, less than 0.001% of channels publish community-submitted captions, and most captions submitted through the program are spam or abuse. The program will end on September 28th, 2020.
Before the days of auto-captioning and translating algorithms, YouTube videos relied on a Community Contributions system to source accurate video transcriptions. Viewers could submit a transcription, which would become official after review by other YouTubers or a video’s uploader.
The loss of community captions is a bit disappointing. YouTube’s auto-captioning and translating features are full of mistakes that could benefit from community support. Thing is, a community support program may be more trouble than its worth. For every person who wants to contribute to captions, there’s another person who wants to insert spam or offensive messages into videos.
Uploaders can still add captions and translations to their videos manually, and existing community captions will continue to show up on videos. Channels that still rely on the community captions system will receive a 6-month Amara subscription from Google.