Will YouTube’s ‘Corrections’ Feature Prevent Creator Bans?
On the 15th of June, YouTube announced an all-new “Corrections” feature on its platform. This feature, aimed at avoiding inaccurate information, or in some cases, ‘fake news’, will allow creators to correct their content after publishing it without removing it entirely. While it seems like a rather ‘entry-level’ addition at present, there is scope for the feature to be expanded further down the line. For now, we’re interested in figuring out if the YouTube corrections feature will allow creators to avoid potential bans, unfair or otherwise.
At the moment, YouTube corrections are quite rudimentary, with users simply inserting ‘information cards’ into their existing content. If you were to make a mistake by naming something incorrectly, for instance, you could insert a timed info card that would pop up on the screen, containing the ‘corrected’ information. It’s a very basic feature, but it should go some way to avoiding instances of misinformation that have, at times in the past, led to some creators receiving suspensions.
Read on to learn more about the feature and to determine how it will impact the behaviour of creators.
YouTube Corrections: Blessing or Curse?
In recent years, we’ve seen a sudden and sharp uptick in the ‘fake news’ craze. At the lowest level, misinformation causes critics to cry ‘fake news’, but at the most severe levels, ‘truly’ fake news can be career-ending and life-threatening stuff. Today, our digital-dependent society is driven forwards on the backs of increasingly popular social media platforms. It’s all too easy for something to be said, taken out of context, misconstrued, or slammed as fake news.
At the most extreme end of the spectrum, the spreading of false information can lead to legal action being taken against a creator. It’s no big secret that some gaming content creators, such as xQc or DrDisrespect, have been in the news on multiple occasions for controversial and often risky statements.
In an effort to combat the negative impact of misinformation, the YouTube corrections feature was released. While it’s a very basic feature at present, it does go some way in permitting creators the chance to correct themselves without causing too much damage. Let’s put out an example – a top-tier creator has published a YouTube video, falsely named a party in an allegation, and the video has blown up.
Typically, a creator will need to delete that video, re-record or edit it again, and re-upload it, losing traction and the momentum of those much-needed clicks. Now, with the YouTube corrections feature, a small info card can be embedded into the video, with the creator correcting themselves and (hopefully) avoiding any blowback. If this was taken to the next step, we’d see creators potentially splicing the original video with edited content, inserting corrections directly into the content or maybe muting the video entirely.
However, that opens the door for potentially harmful manipulation of the platform. There’s nothing stopping a YouTuber from making insulting comments, for example, doing the damage, and then editing the video after the fact to potentially avoid backlash and a ban.
Terms and Conditions of the Feature
Unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), YouTube has explained that certain users will not be able to make use of the corrections feature right off the bat. As per the terms and conditions:
If the channel has any active strikes, or if the content may be inappropriate to some viewers, the corrections feature won’t be available.
So, we’ll have to wait and see how and if creators are able to use the feature in a negative way. It’s unlikely they will, but you never know. In any case, YouTube, one of the leading esports streaming platforms, remains optimistic about the feature, hoping that it will be used to improve its users’ content:
Up until now, if a creator wanted to correct an error in an existing upload or provide an update to information that was no longer accurate, short of editing and re-uploading the video, resulting in loss of engagement metrics and comments, the options were limited to adding a note in the description, responding to comments calling out the error, pinning a comment or doing nothing. With the launch of Corrections, creators will be able to call attention to corrections and clarifications in the descriptions of their already published videos.
The YouTube corrections feature is available now to profiles without any active strikes.