YouTube’s CEO is once again apologizing to the service’s top users following a massive backlash over changes to its verification policy.
One day after announcing that it was ditching the checkmarks and notifying many users that they were no longer eligible for verification, the company is walking back those changes.
“We completely missed the mark,” the company said in an updated blog post published Friday.
“Channels that already have the verification badge will now keep it and don’t have to appeal. Just like in the past, all channels that have over 100,000 subscribers will still be eligible to apply. We’ll reopen the application process by the end of October.”
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.
— Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) September 20, 2019
A Google spokesperson confirmed that all YouTubers who previously received emails that they were no longer eligible for verification would in fact be able to keep their verified status without the need for an appeal.
The company does, however, plan to push ahead with its redesigned verifications labels. Instead of a checkmark, verified accounts will be highlighted or have a music note (in the case of artists). But these changes are now expected to roll out in 2020, according to YouTube.
The company also shared an updated set of criteria for what will be necessary for future channel verifications. In addition to 100,000 subscribers, channels need to verify their identity and make sure their channel is “complete,” with public-facing descriptions and profile icons.
YouTube is not the first platform to stumble when it comes to its verification policies. Twitter “paused” verification in 2017, but has been quietly verifying thousands of accounts whose owners have backchannel access to Twitter employees. Instagram has also been criticized for its opaque verification policy, which has created a black market for verification.