Creators Lash Out After YouTube Retroactively Strips Them Of Verification

By 09/20/2019
Creators Lash Out After YouTube Retroactively Strips Them Of Verification

Updated Sept. 20, 3:30 p.m., to add a statement from YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Over the past 24 hours, thousands of YouTube creators have been notified that in the upcoming weeks, they’ll be retroactively stripped of their verified status after the platform introduced a new set of elegibility criteria for channel verification.

“We’re writing to let you know that we’re updating the eligibility criteria for channel verification on YouTube. Unfortunately, with the changes, your channel no longer meets the criteria to be verified,” YouTube said in an email sent to affected creators, who will be able to appeal the platform’s decision, yesterday morning. “We realize this might be disappointing, but we believe these updates will make channel verification more consistent for users and creators across YouTube.”


Subscribe for daily Tubefilter Top Stories


The letter also told creators that YouTube is no longer accepting applications for channels to be verified. Instead, it’ll be automatically, “proactively” identifying channels that should be verified, the platform said. It added that the goal of the update is to “help channels avoid impersonation, and help viewers understand if a channel is the official presence of the creator, celebrity, or brand it represents.”

In an update blog about the change, YouTube provided bullet points detailing the new verification requirements. Under the old system, any channel with more than 100K subscribers could be verified without needing to prove anything. Now, though, YouTube no longer requires creators to have more than 100K subs. Instead, creators need two things to become verified: personal authenticity, plus evidence that they’re a notable, prominent figure.

The platform describes personal authenticity as proof a channel belongs to “the real creator, artist, public figure, or company it claims to represent.”  But it’s the prominence half that’s apparently causing a lot of creators to lose their status. YouTube outlined prominence as: “Does this channel represent a well-known or highly searched creator, artist, public figure, or company? Is this channel widely recognize outside of YouTube and have a strong presence online? Is this a popular channel that has a very similar name to many other channels?”

It seems that, if the answer to any of those prominence questions is “no,” YouTube now does not consider the channel in question to be worthy of or in need of verification. (FYI, being verified doesn’t give creators access to any extra features or make the channel more discoverable/likely to be recommended, and YouTube specifically says that verification isn’t a sign that the platform itself endorses a particular creator’s content. Verification does, however, indicate they’re an established presence on YouTube, with a sizeable number of subscribers.)

While this policy change will obviously affect thus-far-unverified creators who were hoping to snag verification in the future, it’s arguably a bigger blow for YouTubers who were already verified under the old rules, and who will soon see their status being revoked.

A number of creators have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment about the policy change, with some alleging this is yet another sign that YouTube is prioritizing content by personalities like Jimmy FallonWill Smith, and Zac Efron instead of investing time and attention into its native creator base.

Here’s a roundup of some of the indignation circling through the community in the wake of YouTube’s announcement.

YouTube also took to Twitter, posting details about the policy change, as well as this attempt at reassurance:


YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has responded to the swell of creator frustration with this tweet:

Subscribe for daily Tubefilter Top Stories

Stay up-to-date with the latest and breaking creator and online video news delivered right to your inbox.