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YouTube Rolls Back Verification Changes, Says Verified Creators Can Keep Their Badge

A day after announcing significant changes to its verification program, YouTube announced Friday afternoon that it won’t be de-verifying existing creators after all.

“We heard loud and clear how much the badge means to you,” said YouTube product manager Jonathan McPhie in a blog post. “Channels that already have the verification badge will now keep it and don’t have to appeal. We’ll continue reviewing those channels to ensure we’re protecting creators from impersonation.”

YouTube has for years been verifying channels to signal to users that they are run by the actual creators. Previously, those verifications were dependent on channels receiving at least 100,000 subscribers.

On Thursday, YouTube announced that it would be moving to a new system to focus on verifying “prominent” channels that have “a clear need for proof of authenticity.” As part of those changes, the service also was planning to strip a number of previously-verified channels of their verification badge.

YouTube proceeded to notify individual creators that their channel would lose the verification checkmark soon; some of the creators affected by this included Life With MaK, Kiwiz, Black Nerd Comedy, MacDoesIt, Strawburry17, and Jamie Pine, according to statements made on their respective Twitter accounts.

In the face of backlash, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki apologized earlier on Friday for the announcement. “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.”

Friday afternoon, YouTube also announced that it would re-open the application process for creators who want their channels to be verified in late October. “Going forward, we’ll review those channels to verify their identity,” wrote McPhie. “If we determine that a channel is attempting to impersonate, we won’t verify that channel and may take additional action.”

McPhie also announced that YouTube would postponed a planned redesign of YouTube’s verification badge until next year.

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