YouTube responds to claims it will delete channels for not making enough money

The new terms caused panic among creators who believed that YouTube would be deleting accounts that it believed were no longer commercially viable.


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Last week, YouTube released its controversial new terms and caused panic among creators who believed the vague and subjective language around channel terminations would lead to more creators being banned from the platform.

Now YouTube has clarified its stance and says the language around terminating service is about discontinuing features and not terminating accounts.

The main sentence in the new terms that was causing concern among creators reads:

“YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account’s 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.”

Many people were interpreting this sentence to mean that YouTube could use its sole discretion to terminate creator access to the YouTube service if it decides they’re no longer commercially viable.

However, in its clarifications to several users on Twitter, YouTube insists that the “no longer commercially viable” section of this sentence is referring to features and will not impact creators or viewers in new ways:

“To clarify, this section is not about terminating an account bc it’s not making money/doesn't have ads – it’s about discontinuing certain YouTube features or parts of the service, for ex: removing outdated/low usage features. This does not impact creators or viewers in new ways.”

“To clarify, there are no new rights in our ToS to terminate an account bc it’s not making money. As before, we may discontinue certain YouTube features or parts of the service, for ex., if they're outdated or have low usage. This does not impact creators/viewers in any new ways.”

Creators who have seen the clarification are relieved but suggesting that YouTube should have clarified before publishing the terms and asking the company to fix the wording of this sentence.

The response is reflective of the confusion and frustration that is often caused by YouTube’s lack of clarity when it makes changes or introduces new rules that impact the creator community.

Last week, when YouTube demonetized several creators for “reused content,” the creators pressed YouTube for details on what they need to change to get re-approved for monetization. However, YouTube refused to provide any specifics and responded with vague answers such as “just keep uploading original content and building your subs.”

And in September, when YouTube announced sweeping changes that will cause “significant business impact” for creators that make what YouTube deems to be “content made for kids,” it again provided little clarity to creators. YouTube’s posts on these changes contain no information on how YouTube will determine when content is made for kids, how creators can get ready for these changes, or how much of an impact the changes will have on ad revenue (independent research suggests the changes could cut creator ad revenue by as much as 90%).

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Tom Parker

Tom Parker is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net and provides news and analysis on how we can promote free speech, stop censorship, and protect our personal data online. [email protected]
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