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YouTube CEO apologizes over verification removal, admits they ‘missed the mark’

Updates are expected to come

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has just apologized to the creator community over the company’s decision to revoke verification statuses, leaving many creators without the important badge.

“I’m sorry for the frustration [and] hurt that we caused with our new approach to verification,” Wojcicki said on Twitter. “While trying to make improvements, we missed the mark. As I write this, we’re working to address your concerns [and] we’ll have more updates soon.”

YouTube announced changes to its verification policy yesterday, which resulted in several popular creators receiving emails alerting them about losing their verified status. Creators have time to appeal the decision before the policy goes into effect at the end of October. The new policy is supposed to ensure that verification is given to creators, brands, and artists who are prominent both on YouTube and outside of it and who are at risk of impersonation.

YouTube’s new verification policy is more in line with how companies like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter approach handing out a checkmark. The company wants to ensure that if people are looking for a specific account, like cooking magazine Bon Appétit’s popular YouTube channel, they’ll be able to find it. The result, however, is that if another popular YouTube account is going by Bon Appétit, they’ll lose their verification status, according to YouTube.

The company knew that removing verification statuses would upset creators, but it felt it was a necessary step to battle impersonation of top accounts. That’s why certain steps are being taken to help creators who were told they’re losing verified statuses, but who want to contest it. YouTube is going to try to manually review every single appeal that comes from creators before the verification policies change in late October, according to the company.

Update September 20th, 6:45PM ET: YouTube quickly announced that it would largely reverse course on the changes to its verification system and allow creators to keep their badges.