YouTube announces changes to terms, muddying things for content creators, take downs

Google owned YouTube is announcing some changes to its terms of service.

  • One of those changes has caught flack online from creators, despite only being a modified version of text that has been in the terms since 2018.
  • “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,” reads a section of the new terms of service.
  • Some creators have taken to social media to say they’re concerned that line means that Google can shut down accounts or channels that aren’t making money.
  • However, despite some claims that the language is “new” — it’s actually not — with the “sole discretion” part being the key update.
  • Read another way, since these terms of service are also being billed as affecting “end user” accounts, YouTube could also potentially block an account from watching videos if they$, for example, skip ads to often, causing the company to lose out on ad revenue.
  • YouTube is, however, adding a provision that is has “no obligation” to host anyone’s content, a line that has sparked controversy about freedom of speech vs. the spread of misinformation or content with racist, hateful or other potentially objectionable content.
  • YouTube has also updated its terms to better reinforced children’s use of YouTube, a change likely driven by a $170 fine against the company for violating the children’s privacy law known as COPPA.
  • YouTube, meanwhile, is said to generate between $16 and $25 billion in revenue for Google its is parent Alphabet — but because its financials are lumped in with all of Google, it’s hard to tell example how much the service brings in.