Those who run fan accounts on YouTube will soon have to make it clear to viewers their channels are not affiliated with the original artist, creator or brand. If it’s not already evident from the channel name or handle that they’re running a fan account, they’ll have to update that information. Adding “fan account” to the channel description alone won’t cut it. The rule will take effect on August 21st.
The directive was announced as part of broader changes to YouTube’s impersonation guidelines. As TechCrunch notes, channels that claim to be fan accounts but instead mimic another channel and upload the same content are prohibited, as are channels that appear almost identical to another only with a minor name change (such as adding a space). Users are not allowed to comment on videos while pretending to be another person, nor can they impersonate an existing news channel.
These new guidelines for fan accounts should help YouTube clamp down on impersonators. “This update should also ensure that viewers won’t be misled by the channels they interact with and follow, and creators won’t have their name and likeness used for malicious purposes,” a YouTube blog post reads.