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YouTube can now remove channels that aren’t “commercially viable”

No one wants to watch your home movies.

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Image: Boing Boing

Update: A spokesperson for YouTube has responded to us with an official response, “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. We’re also not changing how we work with creators, nor their rights over their works, or their right to monetize.

While there are some still some issues with clarity, 9to5Googles notes that clauses like this can be used to keep abusive and other harmful video content off the site.


YouTube has been a great way for creatives to showcase their work and it completely changed how people consume entertainment. It’s also a platform that changes rules, bans channels, and shoves ads down everyone’s throats.

Now, in the most recent terms and conditions update, YouTube has highlighted a vague statement that essentials amounts to the ability to ban channels if they aren’t commercially viable.

YouTube can shut down your channel if it isn’t “commercially viable”

Yep, that’s the gist of it. If your video isn’t going to sell ad space, something YouTube obviously wants, then they can delete it and your channel. At the end of the day, the company can do want it wants, but when the wording of the rule is so vague it is obviously concerning.

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.

Conspiracy theorists and realists alike can see problems with this, as it adds yet another layer to the game of “Why has my video been deleted?”. The company recently cleaned up its strike system, most likely (probably not) to pile this confusing stuff on top of it.

Not only that, but it could even terminate accounts that simply consume videos. 9to5Google notes that “YouTube could terminate channels that consume tons of video content but use ad-blocking software or extensions.” Not only channels, mind you, but whole Google accounts (Gmail, Docs, etc) as well.

We’ve emailed YouTube for comment and will update accordingly.

What do you think? Do these new changes worry you? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Senior Editor with a focus on all things tech and gaming. Life Adventurer. You can keep up with me on Twitter: @Josiah_Motley

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