YouTube has had checkmarks depicting verified accounts for quite some time now, though such a badge only indicates a channel has more than 100,000 subscribers – no additional checks were involved. With recent misinformation and unsafe content spreading across the platform and hurting it financially, YouTube announced on Thursday it's tightening its verification program, which might lead to some channels losing their verified status.
The new rules are much stricter and focus on authenticity and prominence even outside of YouTube:
Authenticity: Does this channel belong to the real creator, artist, public figure or company it claims to represent?
Prominence: Does this channel represent a well-known or highly searched creator, artist, public figure or company? Is this channel widely recognized outside of YouTube and have a strong presence online? Is this a popular channel that has a very similar name to many other channels?
Along with introducing higher entry hurdles, YouTube is also getting rid of the checkmark signifying verified accounts, giving them a gray backdrop behind their names instead. The company says checkmarks could suggest whatever is uploaded on a channel is approved by the platform, and getting rid of them altogether makes it more obvious this is not the case. The same is true for musicians, who will lose their note badge in favor of the backdrop. Parallel to that, YouTube is looking to introduce the new badges to its mobile apps which currently don't indicate verification statuses at all.
✔️No one lost a verification badge today–If you received an email that your channel will no longer be verified, this was just an advanced notice & you can appeal
✔️The checkmark has never appeared on YouTube mobile channel pages (this will be added soon) https://t.co/vv64ClfuBx
— YouTube Creators (@YTCreators) September 19, 2019
The changes will affect every channel, meaning some creators might receive an email notifying them their account is about to lose its verified status starting early October. Our own Android Police YouTube channel is also impacted by this and might lose its badge. It's possible to appeal the decision, which we did, but since the new requirements are much stricter, it's likely some YouTubers end up losing their badge later down the road.
YouTube's email to affected channels
This is the email YouTube is sending out to affected creators currently, notifying them that they're ineligible for channel verification:
We’re writing to let you know that we're updating the eligibility criteria for channel verification on YouTube. Unfortunately, with these changes, your channel no longer meets the criteria to be verified. We realize this might be disappointing, but we believe these updates will make channel verification more consistent for users and creators across YouTube. Please keep reading to learn more about the changes and what you can do.
YouTube will now proactively verify channels instead of accepting requests for verification badges. We aim to verify channels that represent a well-known or highly searched creator, artist, public figure, or company with a clear need to differentiate themselves from other channels with a similar name.
Channels are typically verified if they:
• Have built a large audience and community on YouTube.
• Are widely recognized outside of YouTube and have a strong presence online.
• Or, have a channel name that could be confused with other channels on YouTube.
The goal is to help channels avoid impersonation, and help viewers understand if a channel is the official presence of the creator, celebrity, or brand it represents. The verification badge does not represent endorsements or awards from YouTube.
What this means for you
Starting in early October 2019, your channel will no longer be verified, but you have the option to appeal the decision here. This will not impact monetization of your channel.
For more information on these changes, please refer to the YouTube Help Center.
The YouTube Team
YouTube has partially reversed the new policy, see this post for more information.