‘Why does YouTube do dumb things?’: Checkmark overhaul leaves creators FURIOUS
Unlike Twitter’s policy of assigning the coveted blue checkmark to users who prove their identity, YouTube has automatically verified any channel passing 100,000 subscribers, until now. The company – a subsidiary of Google – announced an overhaul on Thursday.
Starting in October, YouTube’s team will decide who to verify based on a few outlined criteria. Those include a channel’s popularity, its presence outside YouTube, and whether similarly-named channels exist that could confuse users.Also on rt.com YouTube exec says ‘new rules and laws’ needed to tackle platform’s ‘bad actors’
There is more: all channels verified under the old rules have been stripped of that status and, crucially, “there is no process to request channel verification.”
Creators were furious, and took to Twitter to vent at the change. “Keep the surprises coming YouTube,”wrote one vlogger, “I bet you’re fun at parties.”
“Being verified on youtube doesn't REALLY matter,” mused another, “but it feels like a slap in the damn face to get this email after working my a** off for 7 years.”
being verified on youtube doesn't REALLY matter, but it feels like a slap in the damn face to get this email after working my ass off for 7 years. Thanks, YouTube. pic.twitter.com/zdvLlmjhhm— Ethan Nestor (@CrankGameplays) September 19, 2019
Youtube has decided to unverify me and many others. A few things:1. Wtf2. I was on one of the biggest YouTube events of all time3. I’m verified on Twitter cuz twitter is cooler4. Why does youtube constantly do dumb things5. My tiktok is verified and thats what matters😤 pic.twitter.com/nvswo8Cund— OVERT | PJ (@overtflow) September 19, 2019
Yes, and the CEO of Youtube has included me in her presentations and I've spoken directly to her. I've actually been to Youtube's San Bruno offices and several Youtube social good events. Youtube has flown me across the country (and world) several times... but I'm not verified. https://t.co/ApC9bsZAfk— ⚔️Kat Blaque⚔️ (@kat_blaque) September 19, 2019
Some called the move a way of “cleaning house,” or an effort to edge out independent creators in favor of wealthy and powerful mainstream channels.
This removal of verification checkmarks on Youtube is them blatantly “cleaning house”. This has been on-going for years...I have a friend that works for Comedy Central...All of their channels are verified still. Some with only 80k subs.My bro with 1 mil subs is losing his.— Jesse Tyler Ridgway (@McJuggerNuggets) September 19, 2019
This is very symptomatic of how badly tech power consolidation reinforces the position of the powerful and just discards everyone else. https://t.co/DC9CMGVnW4— Katharine Trendacosta (@k_trendacosta) September 19, 2019
YouTube explained that changes to the verification were implemented because “people often associated the checkmark with an endorsement of content, not identity.”
“As YouTube has grown and become more complex, we need a new way to verify the identity of channels and help you find the official channel you’re looking for,” the company said in a blog post.
YouTube’s prior ‘cleanup’ efforts have been equally ham-fisted. An update to the platform’s “hateful content” policies in June led to a removal of blatant neo-Nazi and white supremacist videos, but also to the removal of a swathe of controversial vlogs and even serious journalistic videos covering violent ideologies neutrally.
With no way to ask for verification, and YouTube’s persistent efforts to lead viewers to the “correct” content, if the worst fears of the unverified come to pass, the new system will really help people find the “official” channel they weren’t necessarily looking for, but YouTube wanted them to find.
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