Changes to YouTube policy create questions among SIS students

Cherlin Kim, Copy Editor

On Sept. 10, Google implemented new restrictions for school YouTube accounts pertaining to students 18 and younger. This has raised concerns among the SIS students as many clubs and classes use YouTube as a platform to create unique content.


Many functions are restricted through school accounts after the change, such as the capacity to create channels and upload videos, the ability to watch live stream events, see or post comments, and the usage of apps related to YouTube (Music, Studio, TV, and VR). All videos and playlists are additionally being removed from students’ YouTube accounts. 


“I believe that these changes made by Google will definitely affect students, as they are not allowed to post their own content anymore,” Yongkean Kim, SIS information technologist, said. “Given that their emails are under the school’s name, I think Google is limiting YouTube rights for students as inappropriate comments on videos and harmful content will only smear the reputation of the school.” 


Even for students above 18, there is no assurance that their personalized content will stay intact. Hence, Marc Montague, the IT coordinator at SIS, advises all students, regardless of age, to save their data and content before they are erased. 


Furthermore, many student-led publications are affected, including Tiger Times Online (TTONL). TTONL posts many of its videos on a student-run YouTube account, where other students can easily access updates both about the SIS community and other topics, such as sports and global news. 


Similarly, Tigers on Air (TOA) and the Media club are facing conflict in saving all of their past videos and discovering other platforms to upload their video content, as YouTube is no longer a viable option. Videos from student accounts cannot be casted on the school TV as well, which is a problem for TOA as the club focuses heavily on projecting its broadcasts around the school campus. 


“TOA has definitely been affected by the new school YouTube account changes, because we are sadly not able to upload any videos with our school accounts,” Seojin Park (10), the vice president of the TOA media branch, said. “We instead will have to use more of the intercom for daily news and staff’s accounts to project our monthly and promotional videos on the school TV screens.” 


“Media club has many sectors, but especially for the video sector of our club, YouTube is the biggest way to upload longer videos, and people have the most access to YouTube, so we are a bit lost on other uploading options,” Eileen Kim (12), the Media club’s chief executive, said. 


For school accounts created before September, students have until June 2022 to download all of their YouTube data; however, those created after September only have a 60-day time frame to back up all personalized YouTube information.


“I am definitely for the changes Google has made on the YouTube regulations, because YouTube can be one of those black holes where you end up spending sixteen hours watching nothingness,” Mr. Montague said. “Also, as much as Google tries filtering content for kids only, it doesn’t do a very good job. Either way, everything that you create under your school account will disappear once you graduate, so it is better to use alternatives like Vimeo, your personal YouTube account, Daily Motion, and TikTok!—no, not actually TikTok.”