After announcing a new look and list of requirements for verification on its platform last week, YouTube was forced to undo some of its latest updates this weekend.
Creators on the platform were outraged by changes that would render many of them unverified under the new rules, and take away the iconic checkmark that identifies their authenticity.
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“To our creators & users — I’m sorry for the frustration & hurt that we caused with our new approach to verification,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a tweet addressing the matter.
To our creators & users–I’m sorry for the frustration & hurt that we caused with our new approach to verification. While trying to make improvements, we missed the mark. As I write this, we're working to address your concerns & we’ll have more updates soon.
— Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) September 20, 2019
Many YouTubers felt that the changes, which involved reviewing a channel’s prominence outside YouTube, were designed to promote corporate companies instead of traditional creators.
“Every new feature, new algorithm, new policy always hurts individual creators and props up and benefits corporations, celebrities, establishment media and youtube selected ‘creator’,” one user said in response to the apology.
Lol, have you noticed a pattern?
Every new feature, new algorithm, new policy always hurts individual creators and props up and benefits corporations, celebrities, establishment media and youtube selected “creators”
Youtube became everything it was created to be against.
— Bubbling Blue Crab
(@BBlue_Crab) September 20, 2019
“The name of the thing is *You*Tube, not CorporateMediaTube, but every move you make lately seems to be designed to drive content creators who aren’t big media interests off the platform,” another user tweeted.
You’ve been missing the mark for a while. The name of the thing is *You*Tube, not CorporateMediaTube, but every move you make lately seems to be designed to drive content creators who aren’t big media interests off the platform, demonitize them, etc.
— Steven Blazicevich (@SFBCreative) September 20, 2019
In an updated statement, YouTube outlined how the changes will really work, backtracking on what it said previously .
“Channels that already have the verification badge will now keep it and don’t have to appeal. We’ll continue reviewing those channels to ensure we’re protecting creators from impersonation,” it explained.
The company is also reinstating the 100 000 subscriber count milestone that allows users to apply for verification.
“We’ll reopen the application process by the end of October. Going forward, we’ll review those channels to verify their identity,” YouTube said.
Instead of proving identity, YouTube popularity and prominence outside the platform, YouTube channels must now have an icon, videos and channel description to be considered for verification too.
“Your channel must represent the real creator, brand, or entity you’re claiming to be. We’ll look at a variety of factors to help verify your identity,” the company also noted.
As for the verification badge, YouTube concluded that the checkmark will remain for the rest of the year.
Perhaps the company will take the time to come up with something better than a grey box highlighting a verified account’s name?
Feature image: Memeburn