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YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has announced that the company is reversing its decision to change its verification policy after a major backlash from creators.
YouTube began the process of removing many of its users’ badges last week after issuing new guidelines on which channels could be verified. The policy change was protested by countless users who argued their channels were improperly targeted.
Wojcicki apologized for the change on Friday and admitted the company “missed the mark.”
“To our creators & users–I’m sorry for the frustration & hurt that we caused with our new approach to verification,” Wojcicki said. “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.”
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
Later that day, in a blog post, YouTube stated that verified channels would keep their badge without needing to appeal the decision.
UPDATE 1: We heard loud & clear how much the badge means to you. Channels that currently have verification will now keep it without appeal. We’ll continue reviewing those channels to ensure we’re protecting creators from impersonation. More on our changes: https://t.co/B715A8xq2f— Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) September 20, 2019
YouTube also added that, just as before, channels over 100,000 subscribers will still be eligible to apply for verification. In order to do so, account holders must go through an authentication process as well.
UPDATE 2: Like in the past, channels that reach 100k subs will be eligible to apply for verification. To better clarify how channels will qualify, we’ve updated the eligibility criteria here: https://t.co/SXwevL2ixO— Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) September 20, 2019
The new look for the badge will not roll out until next year. pic.twitter.com/KW8ErX0qLa
The company noted that the application process, which is currently on hold, will be open again at the end of October.
“When viewers come to YouTube, it’s important that they know the channel they are watching is the official presence of the creator, artist, public figure or company that it represents,” the blog post states.
Aside from reversing their previous decision, YouTube also revealed that the verification badges themselves would take on a new look beginning next year.
Verified music channels, for example, will be represented by a musical note while other channels will receive a checkmark.
The misstep from YouTube is one of many as the video platform attempts to please advertisers, critics, and its longtime creators.
- Big creators risk losing checkmarks amid YouTube verification purge
- YouTube’s hate speech crackdown leads to higher video removal—but how much is left?
- Google will reportedly pay up to $200 million to settle FTC YouTube investigation
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.