After more than 100 days of war in Ukraine, American social media users have largely stopped posting about it. But what some journalists describe as the first “TikTok war” set a new precedent for social media messaging on the front lines of the conflict. A new report to be released Wednesday looks at how creators are documenting the war.
When Russia first invaded Ukraine in late February, many global YouTubers suspended their regular content and directed followers to resources for donations or other information about the escalating situation.
YouTube announced sweeping changes to its commenting system on Thursday, telling some prominent YouTubers that they would soon be unticked.
The platform emailed some account holders, saying the changes would be in place by the end of October. “We’re writing to let you know that we’re updating the eligibility criteria for YouTube channel verification,” the company wrote to the creators. “Sorry, with these changes your channel is no longer eligible for verification. We realize this may be disappointing, but we believe these updates will make channel verification more consistent for users and creators on YouTube.”
Many YouTubers, some with millions of followers, have publicly expressed their disappointment. “I’ve been on YouTube for 5 years, I post 2 videos a week and have 950,000 subscribers…YouTube emailed me today saying my channel is ‘unverified’ because verified Badges are only available for known channels with a large following,” YouTuber Sierra Schultzzie tweeted.
Caryn Marjorie Jones, a 19-year-old girl who goes by the name CutieCaryn on YouTube, said she was heartbroken when she received the email. “It’s just a small token, but I’ve worked so hard to gain and grow this fan base over the years, so it’s shocking and hurtful that it’s been removed, and I feel very emotional.”