Scrolling about one day I noticed some text beneath the header of the YouTube page:

screenshot described

When I release the scroll, the underlay of the page returns to normal and the text is hidden once more.

Are they legally required to do this, or is there some other reason for putting this text on the page? And, if it is required by law, how do they get away with hiding it as such?


There is probably no legal reason for this message.

These aren't the only two messages that can be displayed. If you look at the source, you see this:

$dynamic_title_placeholder (create new)\n",'ADDTO_WATCH_LATER': "Watch
"Queue",'ADS_INSTREAM_FIRST_PLAY': "A video ad is
playing.",'ADS_INSTREAM_SKIPPABLE': "Video ad can be
skipped.",'ADS_OVERLAY_IMPRESSION': "Ad displayed."

Looks to me like some messages to help with debugging.

  • 1
    Good catch! I didn't think there was a legal reason either, but from (an admittedly limited) programming perspective, it seems like a dictionary of which some information is seeping out - due to some misconfigured or corrupted data.
    – Zizouz212
    Feb 7 '16 at 4:33
  • 1
    Or, maybe could be using it as part of testing. It could be easier for whatever test framework they're using to verify that an html element has changed than to verify that a particular video stream was displayed.
    – user3851
    Feb 7 '16 at 5:08

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