General view of atmosphere YouTube Originals State Of Pride Los Angeles Premiere at The Ricardo Montalban Theatre on May 29, 2019 in Hollywood, California
General view of atmosphere YouTube Originals State Of Pride Los Angeles Premiere at The Ricardo Montalban Theatre on May 29, 2019 in Hollywood, California

YouTube says it can shut down accounts if they don’t make enough money in new update to terms

New rules lead to worry that accounts will disappear or that YouTube will favour big creators at the expense of smaller ones

Andrew Griffin@_andrew_griffin
Monday 11 November 2019 15:27
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YouTube is rolling out new terms that allow it to shut down accounts that don't make enough money.

The site's new terms suggests that unpopular accounts or those that are otherwise not "commercially viable" could be removed from the platform, along with their videos.

The change has led to fears among users that accounts could be removed from the platform. While some have suggested that the change could allow for the removal of extremist or otherwise dangerous videos, the wording is such that it could apply to almost any user on the platform.

"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," the new terms of use read.

The alterations led to a flurry of angry tweets and Reddit posts from users who worried that the change could allow YouTube to shut channels down more easily. It also led to complaints that the site was favouring big creators at the expense of smaller ones.

YouTube alerted users to the update in its terms in emails and notifications, and said that the change would be rolled out later this year. Users were told that the change had been made to ensure the terms of service were easier to read – but the conditions about commercial viability are not present in the current rules.

“We made some changes to our Terms of Service in order to make them easier to read and to ensure they’re up to date," a YouTube spokesperson said. "We’re not changing the way our products work, how we collect or process data, or any of your settings.

"These changes do not alter how our products work nor how we work with creators, nor their rights over their works, or their right to monetise."

The new rules will come into place on 10 December, 2019, according to YouTube. The company indicated that there will be no change to the way the product works or any settings, but that the rules had been brought instead to better reflect the way YouTube works.

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