YouTube can ban users that it deems “no longer commercially viable”, the Google-owned service states in its updated terms of service — which come into effect December 10 — that is leading to panic and uproar among the creator community of the world’s biggest video-sharing platform. Owing to the possible subjective interpretations of the broad “commercially viable” wording, YouTube creators are worried that the company will make use of the new policy to terminate accounts it doesn’t “like for any reason”. In a statement to Gadgets 360, YouTube said it is “not changing the way our products work”.
Over the weekend in an email, YouTube notified its users about the new terms of service. The email’s summary of changes said it was making them “clearer and easier to understand” and “better alignment between the terms and how YouTube works today”. The email didn’t have anything to say about changes to termination policies, though the summary on YouTube.com did note that the new terms of service “now include more details about when we might need to terminate our agreement with bad actors.” Still, there was no mention of the “commercially viable” part, which only appears in the full text as:
“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.”
Twitter user @RageGoldenEagle noted that the new terms have been in effect in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland since July 22, and will come into effect in most other parts of the world — including India and the US — on December 10.
Reached for clarification on the updated terms of service, a YouTube spokesperson told Gadgets 360: “We’re making some changes to our Terms of Service in order to make them easier to read and to ensure they’re up to date. We’re not changing the way our products work, how we collect or process data, or any of your settings.”
Twitter user @Kizzume thinks YouTube’s new terms of service “presents an awful possibility for the future of creators on the platform.” Quoting that tweet, Twitter user @ellaguro added small creators have always had it tough, considering YouTube gives free access to its studios to those with more than 10,000 subscribers.
A thread on Reddit about YouTube’s new terms of service has garnered more than 50,000 upvotes and over 3,000 comments in less than a day.