YouTube can now delete accounts that aren't "commercially viable"

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

The strange rule appeared in YouTube’s new terms of service, which it emailed to users over the weekend. It appears in the “Account Suspension & Termination” section under the “Terminations by YouTube for Service Changes” subheader.

The exact wording of the new terms, set to come into effect in the US on December 10, reads: “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 changes to the ToS are supposed to make them “clearer and easier to understand,” yet they’ve had the opposite effect for most people.

YouTube’s ability to delete accounts just because they’re not profitable enough is obviously worrying a lot of creators. As noted by Gadgets 360, one Twitter user, @RageGoldenEagle, notes that these terms have been in effect in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland since July 22.

YouTube claims that it’s “not changing.” A spokesperson said: “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.”

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. But if this is the case, it needs to be clearly explained.

You can read more about the updated terms and conditions on this lengthy Reddit thread.

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m4a4

TS Evangelist
Another day, another overreaction. Why would Youtube want to sabotage it's legit creators? And considering the vast majority of Youtube accounts aren't "commercially viable" (used to just view content), they certainly aren't going to use this on the likes of the random guy above first lol.

If anything it might be used to terminate creators that aim to hurt Youtube. Which wouldn't be surprising...
 

hahahanoobs

TS Evangelist
"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."

That's what I immediately thought of.
 

OortCloud

TS Maniac
"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."

That's what I immediately thought of.
Hope so - either that or just blanket usage term that Google can use to ban pretty much anything it chooses...
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Somehow I think Google is going to send out corrections. This terms of service release is just way too generic. They need to elaborate on the violation of commercially viable and who it will effect.
Yes the way it's worded they could twist it into meaning everything and anything. For example, you said something that might offend one of our sponsors, so your channel is deleted.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
Just another backdoor attempt at censorship and traffic steering. In a few years Youtube will only allow creators that have a minimum of 100K followers within 90 days of launch and they'll have to be a member of the local communist party.
 

Kokesh

TS Rookie
I see it a different way: when are users not economically viable? When you watch YouTube in Vanced, or with other ad-blocking solution.
 

toooooot

TS Evangelist
I wonder if their servers are so full of crapp that they would be happy to ban half of every useless home video accounts
 

godrilla

TS Booster
Imagine a YouTube critics channel trashes a big blockbuster movie from Disney or game from Rockstar or game launcher from Epic it goes viral. Big Corporations will respond by here is a big check now delete that channel. On the other hand these big corporations pay fake journalists to hype their product often through SJW marketing to control the market. These Globalist companies are in bed with each other. This is what is really happening. Remember the best consumer is the one that does not know the truth.
 

FeRDNYC

TS Rookie
Another day, another overreaction. Why would Youtube want to sabotage it's legit creators
I agree, it makes no sense for them to do this. But let me turn that back around on you: if they don't want to do that, then why would they alter their TOS language specifically to say that they CAN?

And considering the vast majority of Youtube accounts aren't "commercially viable" (used to just view content), they certainly aren't going to use this on the likes of the random guy above first lol.
Agreed, "first". But that's how these things snowball. At first they use their broad power with the best of intentions, only wielding it against the unquestionably deserving. Then when they've succeeded in cleaning house, they set aside their weapons and dedicate themselves to peace and inclusiveness, right? LOLNOPE, what happens is, somebody realizes that they can use those same powers against anyone who's inconvenient to them, or their allies, or the powerful interests they want to impress and curry favor with. From that point it basically unfolds like an Orwell first draft.
 
That's not exactly what that means.

"...if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable."

That does not say "if your channel/account is no longer commercially viable", it says "if provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable."

That is like, YouTube is losing money on the YouTube service so we're going to downsize/shut the service down.

Now, knowing YouTube this will probably be abused, but when you're talking about legal agreements with big corporations it important to remember that words mean stuff.
 
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FeRDNYC

TS Rookie
That does not say "if your channel/account is no longer commercially viable", it says "if provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable."

That is like, YouTube is losing money on the YouTube service so we're going to downsize/shut the service down.
You have a point, but I think the sticking point here is the "you". They're not saying simply, "We can shut down YouTube whenever we feel like it" (something that they don't need to put in their TOS because it's true regardless). They're saying, "We can deny YOU, individually, access to the service."

As you say, words mean things, and that wording is... suspect.
 
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m4a4

TS Evangelist
I agree, it makes no sense for them to do this. But let me turn that back around on you: if they don't want to do that, then why would they alter their TOS language specifically to say that they CAN?
Because the TOS will always favour the company. They're providing the servers for free for creators and viewers alike, and don't really expect anything monetarily in return. If anything, they'll want to give a reason to make content with ads that benefits them too.
Agreed, "first". But that's how these things snowball. At first they use their broad power with the best of intentions, only wielding it against the unquestionably deserving. Then when they've succeeded in cleaning house, they set aside their weapons and dedicate themselves to peace and inclusiveness, right? LOLNOPE, what happens is, somebody realizes that they can use those same powers against anyone who's inconvenient to them, or their allies, or the powerful interests they want to impress and curry favor with. From that point it basically unfolds like an Orwell first draft.
Again, free service. Though at least 90% of accounts do not generate content (or content that makes money) compared to the server upkeep to keep them. The would be stupid to start banning those because of that TOS point. So again, it just sounds like an easier way to ban people aiming to hurt Youtube, which allows use of their platform for free.
 

xXBROKENXx

TS Rookie
"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."

That's what I immediately thought of.
It's probably a way so that they can ban louder with Crowder. YouTube is nothing but a communist.
 
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godrilla

TS Booster
It's probably a way so that they can ban louder with Crowder. YouTube is nothing but a communist.
How else are monopolies made if they literally pay politicians through campaign contributions, lobbying and special interest groups to look the other way. Its a win win situation win for monopoly and win for the state but we lose as humanity. In the end the state takes full control these globalist monopolies are just users!
 
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sauri

TS Member
I read it as not they can ban a channel for it not being commercially viable, but that they can ban for some other reason BUT only if the channel isn't commercially viable anyway, so no financial harm is done to the owner. So if you have a channel full of bull but do stack paper with it, you are safe.