YouTube has officially backtracked on controversial plans to take away ‘verified’ badges from some creators.
The original plan was to introduce new criteria for earning verification status, and removing existing badges from channels that no longer meet the new criteria.
YouTube announced these plans on Thursday and went back on its decision roughly 24 hours later. That means all YouTube channels that are currently verified will get to keep their badge.
All channels that are not yet verified will be eligible to apply for verification when they reach 100,000 subscribers, which has always been the case.
The key word here is all channels. YouTube’s original plans involved limiting verification to channels and creators that are at a high risk of being impersonated.
That would have included celebrities, musicians, famous influencers, and so on. The average YouTuber starting out would have had little to no chance of becoming verified even if they managed to hit 100,000 subscribers.
YouTube Backtracks, Apologizes
YouTube’s original plans resulted in considerable backlash from the community, which prompted an apology from CEO Susan Wojcickiz:
“To our creators & users–I’m sorry for the frustration & hurt that we caused with our new approach to verification. While trying to make improvements, we missed the mark. As I write this, we’re working to address your concerns & we’ll have more updates soon.”
Some Changes Still Apply
YouTube is not backtracking on every announced changed to its verification system. Some changes will still go into effect when the application process is reopened in October.
New eligibility requirements
Greater efforts will be made to verify the identify of a channel and prevent impersonation.
New criteria includes:
- Authenticity: The channel must represent the real creator, brand, or entity they’re claiming to be.
- Completeness: The channel must be public and have a description, channel icon, and content, and be active on YouTube.
New verification badge
A new look for the verification badge itself is rolling out next year). YouTube is replacing the checkmark, which was apparently misinterpreted as an endorsement, with a highlight over the channel’s name.
YouTube says the new look will be displayed more consistently across the platform and is more difficult to replicate.
Channels that meet the new requirements will no longer need to apply for verification, the company says, as verification will be applied automatically.