YouTube has rolled out new terms of service that have the potential to make the platform a more exclusive place. When faced with these lengthy agreements, most of us typically just click "I agree" and carry on without much thought, but a lot of YouTubers are bringing attention to the updates in the "Account Suspension & Termination" section, and for good reason.
The section states that "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."
Basically, if your account isn't making YouTube any money, they can decide to kick you out. According to Mashable, because of the vagueness of the wording, your account may not be safe even if you're just a viewer. Also, if your YouTube account is linked through your Google account, you might want to start backing everything up right now — your Gmail and Google Drive could also be affected if your account is terminated.
The new terms, which go into effect starting December 10, could threaten the security of many smaller creators on the platform. One Twitter user is calling for online content creators to unionize, writing, "These platforms don't care about you. And they can't wait to kick you off."
YouTube's updates add to ongoing discussion about what role, if any, should social platforms play in moderating free speech. Their new terms of service follow Facebook's decisions to ban speech in support of white supremacy, and some argue that YouTube's changes could have similar intentions.
In a statement to Mashable this morning, YouTube responded to the changes, but did little to address the main source of frustration: "We made 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."