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Big creators are at risk of losing their coveted checkmarks amid a YouTube verification purge. YouTube announced a new, stricter verification process on Thursday.
The platform said it will be stripping channels of their checkmarks if they no longer qualify for verification under new guidelines. In addition to 100,000 subscribers, channels now must prove their authenticity. The authenticity requirement is simple: The channel must prove to YouTube that it is run by the person or group that it claims to its viewers.
YouTube has begun notifying accounts of pending verification removal. Accounts can appeal the decision in order to regain their YouTube clout.
ASMR star Life with MaK received a notice on Thursday. “Wow. The only ‘disappointing’ thing in my life is YOUtube,” the 14-year-old wrote in response.
Wow. The only “disappointing” thing in my life is YOUtube. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/I0Ps7NqHPK— Lifewithmak2005 (@lifewithmak2005) September 19, 2019
“He used to have the badge and then changed his channel name a while back, which is why he lost the badge, it has nothing to do with today’s announcement. He can re-apply under the new channel name,” the spokesperson said. “(He lost verification) at the time he changed his name, it wasn’t today, it has nothing to do with today’s announcement.”
As of January 1st, 2020, I will no longer be making content for Youtube.— Jesse Tyler Ridgway (@McJuggerNuggets) September 18, 2019
This has not been an easy decision to make and one that I've struggled with for the last couple years.
To put it frankly, I can no longer support a platform that doesn't have my best interest at heart.
.@YouTube unverified my channel today, to be implemented in October. I know it’s just a meaningless check mark, but that’s not what it felt like. It felt like the work, heart, and soul I put into my videos was being validated by the platform I love.— Emilia Fart (@emiliafart) September 19, 2019
Been doing Youtube for 5 years, I post 2 videos a week, 950,000 subscribers.... YouTube emails me today that my channel has been “unverified” because the verified badge is only for well known channels with a large following 🤷🏼♀️ @TeamYouTube literally no one asked for this 😂— Sierra Schultzzie (@Schultzzie) September 19, 2019
I got unverified from @YouTube because Of their new update and I don’t fit the criteria? I have over 2 million subscribers and get 15-20 million views a month.— LG Kiwiz (@Kiwiz) September 19, 2019
Can someone explain or help me? @Fwiz pic.twitter.com/IbtnlIiKvV
man this platform really sucks pic.twitter.com/zQxecqB1l1— jamie (@jamiepine) September 19, 2019
Larger names in the YouTube community are standing in solidarity with those who are being unverified by speaking out against the new policy.
“I’m really sorry to the creators who are being unverified on @YouTube today. This decision is really pointless and it’s yet another change not a single person asked for PLEASE know that you are still valid as a creator and I hope that a stupid checkmark doesn’t discourage you!” James Charles tweeted.
I’m really sorry to the creators who are being unverified on @YouTube today. This decision is really pointless and it’s yet another change not a single person asked for 😐 PLEASE know that you are still valid as a creator and I hope that a stupid checkmark doesn’t discourage you!— James Charles (@jamescharles) September 19, 2019
The Verge reports YouTube likely implemented the authentication step to help moderate suggested videos by ensuring content is verified and from well-known creators.
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Libby Cohen is a third-year University of Texas student originally from New Jersey. She has written for ORANGE Magazine, the Daily Texan, and most recently interned for 1010 WINS in NYC. She's now back in Austin writing for the Texas Standard and the Daily Dot.