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Earning at risk; YouTube removing all verified badges


YouTube is replacing checkmarks, which could inspire other social media platforms to follow suit — while angering creators in the process.

Checkmarks, verified badges, and "blue ticks" are used by major tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to designate the official pages of public figures. However, many users view these verification marks as endorsements by the platforms, not as a way to weed out imposters.

In a post on its community forums on Thursday, YouTube shared a new design for its verification badges that may solve that problem. The updated look, which will roll out in late October, removes the little checkmark icon that has become synonymous with “verified user” across major social media platforms.

The company stresses that the changes are being made to make it clear that verification isn’t an endorsement or reward, but a way to confirm official accounts for celebrities and notable users.

“Through our research, we found that people often associated the checkmark with an endorsement of content, not identity,” said YouTube in the post. “To reduce confusion about what being verified means, we’re introducing a new look that helps distinguish the official channel of the creator, celebrity or brand it represents.”

Instead of the literal verification tick, official YouTube Creators, public figures, and companies will have their channel names highlighted with a grey background. The video platform also confirmed that the little music note it used to verify YouTube artists will be removed and conform to the new design too.

YouTube announced it will also now proactively verify accounts, as opposed to accepting requests for verification badges.

In addition to removing the checkmark, YouTube is making major changes to which channels are eligible for verification.

YouTube’s new verification process will look at “authenticity” and “prominence," as opposed to channels with more than 100,000 subscribers. This will prioritize channels belonging to well-known public figures and creators, as well as popular channels with names that could be confused with others.
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 TechCrunch notes that YouTube began sending out notices to creators saying it's removing verification badges from channels that don't meet the new requirements.

Many YouTube Creators who received the email are none too happy about the removal of their verified badge. The company has provided a dispute process for those who feel that their verification was wrongly removed.

Despite the uproar, most of these changes make a lot of sense. Other companies, especially Twitter, have struggled with explaining its decisions to verify problematic figures. 

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