How To: Determine The Exact (Local) Upload Time Of A YouTube Video

Videos on YouTube are only showing the upload date, but not the exact time of upload. This can be important to find the original uploader of a video, and also helps to avoid confusion and incorrect claims about the upload date. The most prominent example for this was the false claim by Russian authorities that the chemical weapons attack in Syria from August 21, 2013, was staged, since some of the videos showed an upload date of August 20.

Detailed Case Study: Syria Chemical Weapons Attack: Debunking Russia’s False Claim About Video Upload Date

Step 1: Extract the exact time using the YouTube Data Viewer

The YouTube Data Viewer allows to extract the exact upload time of a video (among other details). Simply copy and paste the video link into the appropriate field to extract the details. The video of the White House Rally was published on November 7, 2013, 9:53pm:

Step 2: Convert the time (UTC) into local time zone

Please note: This timestamp is in Coordinated Universal Standard Time (UTC).  In our case, we must convert it into Eastern Standard Time (EST) to find out the time when it was uploaded in Washington, DC (the place of the protest). I am using a simple time zone converter to do this. I plug in 9:45pm (it only allows me to pick the time in 15 minute intervals, so I cannot enter exactly 9:53):


Washington, DC is five hours behind UTC. The video was thus uploaded in the afternoon of Thursday, November 7, 2013:

UTC ( ) Thursday, 7 November 2013, 21:45:00
UTC Washington DC (U.S.A. – District of Columbia) Thursday, 7 November 2013, 16:45:00 EST UTC-5 hours