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[Update: Badges restored] YouTube is tightening requirements for verification badges

In response to backlash it’s suffered over the past couple of years, YouTube is making some major changes to its verification requirements. Starting today, the requirements are much higher, and currently verified channels are losing their badges as a result.

Many YouTubers have been posting images of emails on Twitter today regarding the verified badge on their channel disappearing. The platform since confirmed to the Verge that it is in the process of removing the verification badge from some channels which have already had it if they don’t meet the updated criteria for verification. Those emails read in part:

We’re writing to let you know that we’re updating the eligibility criteria for channel verification on YouTube. Unfortunately, with the 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.

Previously, YouTube allowed any channel with upwards of 100,000 subscribers to apply and usually receive a checkmark aside their channel name.

Update 9/23: YouTube confirmed over the weekend that it would reinstate verified status for creators who had already earned it. No appeals will be required to get the badge back. In addition to that, YouTube will be re-opening applications for verification back to any creators with over 100,000 subscribers and the company apologized in a blog post slaying that it “missed the mark.”

As a part of these updates, YouTube’s new verified badge design won’t roll out until next year.

Now, the requirements for a verification badge are changing to only include prominent channels that have a “clear need for proof of authenticity.” Apparently, this includes musicians, comedians, artists, and other types of channels. Traditional YouTubers will be eligible for a verified badge as well as YouTube details in a blog post. YouTube explains that, when considering a verification badge, it asks the following questions:

  • 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?

For the channels that were already verified but have had that badge removed, YouTube is accepting appeals before the changes are finalized in October. However, there’s no guarantee the verification will be reinstated under the new requirements.

Alongside those updates, YouTube is also redesigning badges for verified channels. Instead of a checkmark or a music note, YouTube will simply highlight the name with a darker background as you can see above. YouTube also points out that this new method is much harder to replicate, as some channels would add a check to the end of their channel name to fake a verified account.

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