You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube Raises Bar for Channel Verification, Stripping Some Creators of Verified Status

YouTube is making it harder for channels to receive a verification badge indicating their authenticity — and the program’s new requirements mean that some channels won’t be eligible for verification.

Like other internet platforms, YouTube indicates to viewers that specific channels are officially run by the creator, artist, celebrity or company they represent with an icon, usually a check mark. Under its current eligibility requirements, channels with more than 100,000 subscribers can be verified regardless of need for proof of authenticity.

That will change starting in late October, when YouTube will shift to verifying “prominent” channels that have “a clear need for proof of authenticity,” product manager Jonathan McPhie wrote in a blog post about the change.

YouTube’s previous verification policy “worked well when YouTube was smaller, but as YouTube has grown and the ecosystem has become more complex, we needed a new way to verify the identity of channels and help users find the official channel they’re looking for,” McPhie said.

As a result of the new policy, some channels that already have the verification badge will no longer meet the criteria to be verified, YouTube says in a notice in its help center. There’s no process to request channel verification. According to YouTube, channel owners who have been notified that they don’t qualify anymore for certification will be able to appeal the decision.

Among the YouTube creators who are losing their account verification: Life With MaK, Kiwiz, Black Nerd Comedy, MacDoesIt, Strawburry17, and Jamie Pine, according to statements made on their Twitter accounts.

[Update, 9/20: After the backlash over the decision, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki on Friday apologized for revoking the verified status of many channels and said YouTube is working to address creators’ concerns. “To our creators & users – I’m sorry for the frustration & hurt that we caused with our new approach to verification,” she wrote in a tweet. “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.”]

YouTube’s new verification process encompasses several factors. Those include confirming whether a channel really belongs to the creator, artist, public figure or company it claims to represent; whether the channel represents a well-known or highly searched creator, artist, public figure or company; and whether it’s a popular channel that has a very similar name to many other channels.

YouTube provides different pointers for owners of non-verified channels to help distinguish their channels. Those include: using a unique channel name; using a high-quality image for the channel icon “to make your channel look professional in search results”; and customizing channel art and layout for a personalized look. Meanwhile, creators who believe that another YouTube channel is impersonating them can report it at this link.

In addition to the new verification process, YouTube will roll out a “new look” for the verification badges next month, which it says will be displayed more consistently across the service (including on mobile apps) and will be harder to fake. “Through our research, we found that viewers often associated the check mark with an endorsement of content, not identity,” McPhie explained.

Currently, verified channels have a check mark next to their channel name. The new verification badge will replace that, as well as the existing music note on YouTube’s official artist channels.

— Meg Zukin contributed to this report.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Doug Scott - Twitch

    Twitch Recruits Zynga's Doug Scott as Chief Marketing Officer

    Doug Scott is leaving as game company Zynga’s marketing boss to become Twitch’s CMO. Scott assumes the CMO role at Twitch after previous chief marketing officer Kate Jhaveri exited this summer to become the NBA’s top marketing exec. News of Scott’s hire comes less than a month after Twitch launched a redesigned logo and site, [...]

  • Carter Hansen - VidCon

    VidCon Hires Ex-AwesomenessTV Exec Carter Hansen to Head Conference Programming

    VidCon hired Carter Hansen, a founding executive at AwesomenessTV, as VP of programming to oversee conference programming and content for the internet-video events producer. In the newly created role, Hansen reports to VidCon GM Jim Louderback and will be based in Viacom’s Hollywood office. As part of overseeing programming worldwide for VidCon’s community, creator and [...]

  • The Boys Amazon Prime

    Nielsen Adds Amazon Prime Video to SVOD Measurement, With Limitations

    After two years of measuring Netflix viewing, Nielsen has now added Amazon Prime Video to the mix of subscription-streaming services it tracks — and with the same set of limitations. Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings originally launched in October 2017 with Netflix. According to the research firm, the addition of Amazon Prime Video measurement will let [...]

  • Gavel Court Placeholder

    Netflix Movie Scammer Admits to Defrauding Investors Out of $14 Million

    A California man has admitted to defrauding investment groups — nabbing $14 million — by falsely claiming the money would be used to produce a feature film for Netflix. On Oct. 18, Adam Joiner, 41, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court, according to federal authorities. [...]

  • netflix debt

    Netflix to Raise Another $2 Billion Through Debt to Fund Massive Content Spending

    Netflix, burning boatloads of cash with a projected $15 billion content budget for 2019, is adding to its debt load once again. On Monday (Oct. 21), Netflix announced plans to offer approximately $2.0 billion aggregate principal amount of junk bonds, in both U.S dollar and euro denominations. As of Sept. 30, Netflix reported $12.43 billion [...]

  • Bristol, CT - July 26, 2018

    Mina Kimes Helps ESPN Kick Off 'Daily' Podcast

    Mina Kimes is preparing to take ESPN into a new frontier. The sports-media giant has launched a “SportsCenter” for Snapchat and tested baseball telecasts for kids. Now it’s hoping to set up shop in another media venue. Starting tomorrow, the Disney-backed company launches “ESPN Daily,” a weekday morning podcast that aims to tap its vast [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content