On Thursday, YouTube said that it’s overhauling its system for verifying users on its platform, as the multimedia video site faces intense controversy over the content it pushes to users.
The verification program getting a massive overhaul could result in several less prominent creators to lose their verification status. Previously, YouTube allowed any channel that reached 100,000 subscribers to request verification. That limit is being removed, with a change to the verification program that rolls out in October.
According to the Google-owned video streaming site, YouTube is emphasizing verifying prominent channels that have a “clear need for proof of authenticity.” This will include traditional YouTubers, musicians, comedians, and artists, among others.
YouTube also said it’s changing the way its verification badges look. Now the site will show a grey background behind a creator’s name, instead of using a checkmark or music note.
“Through our research, we found that viewers often associated the checkmark with an endorsement of content, not identity,” Jonathan McPhie, a YouTube product manager, said in a blog post. He said the company was making the change to “reduce confusion about what being verified means.”
The change was announced on Thursday, and it was immediately met with outrage and backlash among some of the YouTube’s millions of creators, who said their verification statuses were revoked because of the new requirements.
To this, Youtube responded to comments on a tweet saying,” 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, and you can appeal.”
This new policy was implemented after YouTube faced an onslaught of scandals, including blowback, for recommending content related to extremism and child exploitation. The video site isn’t the only big tech platform rethinking its verification policies. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pledged last year to improve the site’s famous blue checkmark system.