YouTube is breaking the hearts of many of its most beloved creators, announcing yesterday that it will be stripping an army video makers of their hard-won verification checkmarks.
In a shift that seems geared to win over more traditional celebrities and companies, YouTube is giving the shaft to many of its homegrown personalities. But, as Taylor Lorenz reports for the New York Times, YouTube has assured the demoralized vloggers that the purge—which will take place by the end of October—is for the good of the many.
“We’re writing to let you know that we’re updating the eligibility criteria for channel verification on YouTube,” the company emailed the soon-to-be demoted. “Unfortunately, with these changes, your channel no longer meets the criteria to be verified. We realize this might be disappointing, but we believe these updates will make channel verification more consistent for users and creators across YouTube.”
Under the new criteria, verified creators’ checkmarks will be replaced with a “new look” because YouTube says too many users think the check denotes an endorsement of content, rather than confirmation of identity. Meeting those new criteria, however, will be a task beyond most mortals.
Previously, anyone with more than 100,000 subscribers could apply for verification, but YouTube lamented in a blog post Thursday that it’s grown too big for such old-timey ways, and that “the ecosystem has become more complex.”
The Times spoke with a number of YouTubers who were dismayed to learn they’d be losing their checkmarks, including Caryn Marjorie Jones, aka CutieCaryn (761k subscribers), who reported feeling “really emotionally impacted” by the development.
Naturally, creators are also worried how the demotions will affect their bottom lines.
“Either people won’t think I’m legitimate or they won’t see me in the light they saw before. It will definitely affect my brand deals,” Jones said.
“People are going to start making videos on this,” she predicted. “Like, ‘YouTube, why did you unverify me.’ YouTube is definitely going to be called out for this.”
Indeed, YouTube is awash in angry posts on the subject today.
“I don’t understand, YouTube” says piddleass, who has 553K followers. “Why do you gotta try to fix something that’s not broken? That doesn’t make any sense. I’m offended. All my YouTube friends are offended. I’m pretty sure everybody’s subscribers are offended, because what the hell?”
One creator had a clever idea, posting to Twitter, “Can’t get un-verified on YouTube if I just rename my channel to the verification logo.”
Can't get un-verified on YouTube if I just rename my channel to the verification logo pic.twitter.com/LjEpUtn13T
— CreepsMcPasta (@Creeps_McPasta) September 19, 2019
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