Google’s new inactive account policy is already ringing people in my arms. The company announced on Tuesday that accounts that have not been used for two years will be deleted, and a lot of people They ask what exactly this means for YouTube content. There are likely to be millions of videos from dead and inactive YouTube creators — so does Google’s new data policy mean nearly two decades of internet history should be wiped out?
Google blog post Yesterday this certainly gave the impression, “If a Google Account hasn’t been used or logged into for at least two years, we may delete the account and its contents — including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar), YouTube, and Google Photos.” This policy means eliminating things like First YouTube videothe official YouTube accounts of Former Presidents of the United States, and tons of content from retired YouTubers and music artists. That would be terrible.
A day later, Google now says there will be no digital burn of Alexandria. YouTube Creators Coordinator Renee Richie explained on Twitter that Google “has no plans to delete accounts with YT videos.” 9to5Google I heard the same statement from a Google spokesperson. This is great news, but it’s also very vague and contradicts what all of Google’s current documentation, including the blog post, says. Can people keep a Google account alive forever with a single video? We’ve had an email from Google since Tuesday night asking for some kind of official policy regarding YouTube videos, but we haven’t heard anything yet. It seems that the company is still thinking about this.
By the way, it makes no sense to delete old YouTube content. While inactive data for things like Gmail and Google Photos is just a money hole, YouTube content is publicly available, and Google runs ads on these videos, so these videos make money. If there isn’t a creator to share the revenue with, even better! Dismissing old videos will not only damage YouTube as a platform, but Google’s bottom line as well.
We’ll update this story if Google publishes an official YouTube policy. However, the inactive account policy doesn’t kick in until December 2023, so Google still has some time to figure that out.
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