Outrage exploded on social media after users discovered an update to YouTube‘s terms of service taking effect in December that could affect channels. But is it all that it’s cracked up to be?
News of the policy update gained steam on social media when popular YouTuber Jon ‘MrDalekJD’ posted a screenshot of the new terms of service update. Thousands of people liked and retweeted the now-deleted thread, but outrage had began to spread.
Several users reposted the policy update, with claims that YouTube are going to start terminating channels if they don’t make enough money, which has caused anger among the community.
Twitter user ‘Kizzume’ posted a screenshot of the policy update that read, “YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google accounts access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.”
The tweet got over 6.7k likes as of the time of this article, and also added “YouTube is updating their Terms of Service on 10 December, 2019. It seems they will be able to terminate your channel if it’s “no longer commercially viable”.”
YouTube is updating their Terms of Service on 10 December, 2019. It presents an awful possibility for the future of creators on the platform. It seems they will be able to terminate your channel if it's "no longer commercially viable."https://t.co/UrVpXmq4k5 pic.twitter.com/aHIV3XbsRN
— Kizzume (@Kizzume) November 8, 2019
While the wording of the policy is admittedly vague, the anger was swift across the board for most users.
YouTuber ‘Christian Maracle’ published a worried tweet that said, “Looks like I fought to the very end but now I may be close to losing my livelihood, losing my passion, my audience!”
YouTube has new Terms Of Service on December 10th. This basically says that if channels don't make enough money, THEY WILL POSSIBLY TERMINATE THEM!!!
Looks like I fought to the very end but now I may be close to losing my livelihood, losing my passion, my audience and my… pic.twitter.com/P74uQe8jpW
— Christian Maracle (@MaracleMan) November 9, 2019
Another Twitter user exclaimed, “We’re officially at the point where if you don’t make YouTube enough money, they might restrict or outright terminate your channel.”
This seemed to echo many of the criticisms coming from the community who took issue with the policy’s wording.
— GameCubeDude (@GameCubeDude100) November 7, 2019
YouTube has yet to respond
While the video hosting platform has yet to release a direct statement on the situation, the official YouTube support Twitter account sent an automated response to MrDalekJD’s original thread, which only further angered people.
“There are several reasons for channel termination like repeatedly violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, sever abuse cases, or channels dedicated to a policy violation” the account tweeted, which failed to address the issue of channels not making “enough” money.
Sorry to hear that. There are several reasons for channel termination like repeatedly violating YouTube's Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, sever abuse cases, or channels dedicated to a policy violation. Learn more about the reasons here: https://t.co/ttfebnw1gg
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) November 10, 2019
Popular YouTube Trevor ‘TmarTn’ Martin didn’t think it was a big deal, and responded to all the outrage stating it was just “legal jargon” and meant to be vague.
“They have the right to terminate any channel on the site for any reason. They have always had that power. Just because they can doesn’t mean they will.”
I wouldn't be concerned about this at all, it's just legal jargon.
They have the right to terminate any channel on the site for any reason. They have always had that power.
Just because they can doesn't mean they will.
— TmarTn (@TmarTn) November 10, 2019
It remains to be seen how YouTube will implement their Terms of Service update, but the vague wording certainly leaves it up to interpretation that they can delete an account if it fails to meet the criteria to make money.
This would be a huge issue as there are some prominent YouTubers who choose to not monetize their videos, and use third-party sites like Patreon to fund their work.