Many creators were disappointed to discover in recent days that YouTube’s Creator Awards — or the ‘Play Button‘ plaques that the video giant hands out to vloggers who have surpassed certain subscriber milestones — may come with unforeseen caveats.
Following reports by news channel DramaAlert that select creators weren’t receiving their plaques at YouTube’s discretion — the company hands out silver, gold, and diamond plaques when creators surpass 100,000, 1 million, and 10 million subscribers, respectively — YouTube clarified on Twitter last Thursday (see below) that “Not all creators who apply will receive awards, but that’s not to say it’s arbitrary.” While it has long stood that not every creator automatically receives a ‘Play Button’, YouTube reiterated the policy given new confusion about the process.
Creator Awards are benefits that creators can apply for when they reach 100K or 1M subs. Not all creators who apply will receive awards, but that’s not to say it’s arbitrary. You can find more info on the awards & criteria here. https://t.co/xIZ3ojfmDE
— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) February 2, 2018
On its Awards website, which is referenced in the Tweet, YouTube explains that plaques are distributed to creators “without copyright strikes, community guideline violations, or artificially increased subscriber counts, among other criteria.” And it is this last qualification — “among other criteria” — that has some creators scratching their heads. They claim that YouTube is opting not to deliver plaques based on the nature of a channel’s content — even to accounts that are in otherwise good standing.
Some of the kinds of creators that the video giant tends to overlook, according to Polygon, include far-right commentators, those with more of a negative bent, and even channels that focus on scary subjects. Horror channel MKP Studios, for instance, said that YouTube declined to deliver a plaque due to the nature of his content.
While it is unclear why exactly YouTube is neglecting to distribute certain plaques, the company has taken significant action to clamp down on inappropriate content in recent weeks, including a revamp of its Partner Program and Google Preferred ad program.