Creators are freaking out over YouTube’s new terms of service which state that the company can delete an account if it determines the user is “no longer commercially viable.”
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YouTube’s new terms of service has some users and content creators very worried that the company could delete their account.
In the section titled “Account Suspension & Termination” with the subheader “Terminations by YouTube for Service Changes,” the site’s , which are set to take effect on Dec. 10, adds the following:
“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.”
In its most basic terms: if YouTube isn’t making money off you, the company can delete your account. The platform’s of service do not include this language.
Last week, YouTube started sending an email to its users notifying them about the site’s new terms of service. In its email, YouTube summarizes the update as a way to make its terms clearer and easier to understand. Yet, this new addition to its terms weren’t mentioned in the email, and the wording couldn’t be any more vague.
As written, these broad terms give YouTube the power to delete a creators’ account if they upload or livestream video that, for example, doesn’t pull in enough advertising revenue.
YouTube viewers aren’t in the clear either. Notice the terms are worded to cover anyone who has an account, not just its content creators. The language used can mean that a user who looks at lots of content but doesn’t necessarily monetize can also have their account removed.
A generous read of these terms can be seen as YouTube giving itself the ability to remove users and channels that disseminate hate speech or other violent rhetoric. For example, an account that starts creating white supremacist content can certainly be deemed as “no longer commercially viable.”
However, the wording should more explicit in defining what the update means.
It should be also noted that the terms specifically state the company can terminate a user’s Google account as well. As written, a YouTuber can lose their Gmail, Google Photos, Documents, and more just for “no longer being commercially viable” on the video platform.
People are, of course, freaking out. On Reddit, a on the topic has more than 32,000 upvotes and 2,300 comments at the time this post was published. Tweets shining a light on the terms of service update are receiving thousands of likes and retweets.
As one person on Twitter points out, this feels to some like yet another move from YouTube that plays favorites with its biggest, most profitable creators. Channels with more than 10,000 subscribers are able to use YouTube studio space for free.
In 2018, the company its monetization policy, shutting out many smaller creators. Small channels that are eligible for monetization have increasingly to abide by than the bigger channels did when they were starting out.
Mashable has reached out to YouTube for more information and we will update this post when we hear back.