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Entertainment • Sep 21, 2019

YouTube restores verification to creators after massive backlash

YouTube restores verification to creators after massive backlash
Google / YouTube

On September 19, YouTube announced changes to its standards and criteria for channel verification, and informed numerous creators that they would no longer be verified. After massive backlash on social media, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced they would restore verification and rollback some of their changes.

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When YouTube announced changes to their verification system, it wasn’t the loss of the notorious verified checkmark that got under the skin of their creators. That was certainly part of it, but it was the decision to remove verification from YouTube channels that already had it through the current system that caused a stir.

After incredible amounts of backlash toward the Google-run video platform, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced through a series of updates on Twitter that currently verified channels will, in fact, keep their verification.

“Channels that currently have verification will now keep it without appeal.”

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In the official update post on the Google blog, YouTube credited issues of impersonation and misinterpretation as the reason for the initial changes. According to them “nearly a third of YouTube users [said] they misunderstood the badge’s meaning, associating it with *endorsement of content*, and not an indicator of *identity*.”

But YouTube acknowledged that they “completely missed the mark” with their initial improvements, and said those with verification status will not lose it.

The standards for verification that YouTube released yesterday have also been slightly altered. Previously, any channel with 100k subs became verified. In the initial announcement, YouTube said that for channels to be verified they must be “authentic and prominent”. But that has also been updated after the backlash to “authentic and complete.” YouTube makes no mention of the now-removed requirement of “prominence” in their updated post.

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Here is that now removed section on the Prominence criterium:

“Prominence: does this channel represent a well-known or highly searched creator, artist, public figure or company? Is this channel widely recognized outside of YouTube and have a strong presence online? Is this a popular channel that has a very similar name to many other channels?”

Wojcicki first addressed the complaints about verification hours before the changes were announced:

“To our creators & users–I’m sorry for the frustration & hurt that we caused with our new approach to verification.”

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In the update, Wojcicki also announced that the new look for verification (from badge to gray background) won’t be implemented into 2020.

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