YouTube Apologized for Changing Their Verification Program



CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki apologized to YouTube creators after the company received negative responses to YouTube’s new verification program. As a result, the new look for the verification badge will be delayed and will roll out next year. It is unclear exactly when that will happen. “Next year” could mean a few months from now.

CEO Susan Wojciki tweeted: “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.”

The updates were added that same day, on the YouTube’s Creator Blog titled: “Updates to YouTube’s verification program”. It is an attempt to clarify the changes to the verification badge. YouTube says the idea behind the update was to protect creators from impersonation and address user confusion. What were users confused about?

Also, nearly a third of YouTube users told us that they misunderstood the badge’s meaning, associating it with endorsement of content, and not an indicator of identity. While rolling out improvements to this program, we completely missed the mark. We’re sorry for the frustration that this caused and have a few updates to share.

Here are some things to know:

  • Channels that already have the verification badge will keep it and do not have to appeal.
  • All channels that have over 100,000 subscribers will still be eligible to apply for the verification badge. YouTube will reopen the application process by the end of October.
  • YouTube will verify channels that have over 100,000 subscribers The channel must also be authentic – meaning the channel represents the real creator, brand, or entity it is claiming to be. The channel must also be complete, meaning that it is public and has a description, channel icon, and content, and be active on YouTube.

To me, it seems like YouTube is very concerned about inauthentic channels that attempt to impersonate YouTube creators. That’s a good thing for YouTube to take action on.

The clarification that the badge means “an indicator of identity”, and not a sign that YouTube endorses the content on that channel, is sketchy. It feels like a loophole to allow YouTube to avoid taking responsibility for the worst content that appears on their platform.