Well that escalated quickly…
Google-owned video hosting platform YouTube will start cracking down on channels and accounts which aren’t “commercially viable.”
On Saturday, the company revealed it will roll out new Terms of Service (ToS) on December 10, giving YouTube the “sole discretion” to terminate access to the platform if accounts or videos may affect its bottom line.
“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 company wrote in a statement.
“YouTube is under no obligation to host or serve content,” reads another section of the policy.
The announcement sent waves of panic throughout the web, as many understood the terms to be a direct threat towards channels that espouse the wrong points of view.
“The terms could be a way for YouTube to remove channels that promote hate speech, conspiracy theories, or harmful messages whose content isn’t extreme enough to warrant an outright ban, as these are unlikely to be commercially viable,” wrote TechSpot’s Rob Thubron. “But if this is the case, it needs to be clearly explained.”
On social media, the updated ToS was taken as writing on the wall that a new purge is on its way, after the company spent much of the past two years demonetizing content from popular channels.
In a statement to The Verge, YouTube claimed it updated the ToS “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,” YouTube told The Verge.
The Verge claims YouTube’s updated terms give them “the ‘sole discretion’ to terminate an account, whereas before it said that YouTube must ‘reasonably believe’ it should do so.”
The company tried to tamp down speculation and growing outrage on Twitter, claiming the new ToS is being misinterpreted.