If you head over to YouTube‘s homepage now, you’ll come across their new Terms of Service, which are set to come into effect on the 10th of December 2019. However, some clauses within the terms have caused a bit of a stir amongst the creator community.
One of the more controversial lines from the terms basically states that YouTube can close your account if they feel that your channel isn’t drawing in enough revenue:
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 terms also contain a clause that states that “YouTube is under no obligation to host or serve content”, which is another way of saying that the company has discretion to remove content from the platform in any situations.
This is perhaps due to the issues faced by the company in recent times over videos of sensitive nature, including a well-documented spat between Vox Media writer/host Carlos Maza and conservative YouTuber Steven Crowder that brought YouTube’s enforcement of its policies into question.
In that situation, YouTube merely demonetised Steven Crowder’s offending videos on the platform, as opposed to taking them off the site. Instead, YouTube now has “sole discretion” and is under “no obligation” to host content it doesn’t want to—which offers them more leeway in choosing what goes on, and stays on, YouTube.
However, it’s easy to see why creators are miffed over the “commercially viable” bit:
It’s worth noting that YouTube’s older policies also contained similar clauses, although the wording of the new policies gives the company a lot more discretion where it comes to the content. Meanwhile, YouTube has spoken to The Verge, saying:
“[We are] also not changing how we work with creators, nor their rights over their works, or their right to monetise.”
[ VIA ]