Google is possibly gearing up to delete millions of old YouTube videos. Google is one of the biggest companies on the planet as it owns the dominant search engine, a major email platform, and one of the biggest, most used websites on the planet with YouTube. Their reach is massive and they've been at the core of the internet for decades now. Although not every Google project has been a runaway success, it holds a lot of technological pillars in our world and runs a very tight ship to ensure that can remain possible. With all of that said, Google is making moves to do something that could be pretty devastating.
Google has announced that it's gearing up to delete accounts and their contents if they have been inactive within the last two years. This means that if there's an inactive account that Google deems worth deleting, it could, in the company's own words, also remove all of the associated content created by it including "content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar), YouTube and Google Photos." This process won't begin until December 2023 and there will be plenty of notice via emails/notifications to users ahead of time. The company also plans to do it in phases, starting with accounts that were created and then never used after that. To avoid potentially being impacted by this, users simply have to login to their account and then do a Google search, watch a YouTube video, or read/send an email.
Although Google seems to be trying to give people time to get around this, there's likely content from accounts owned by people who have died, stopped creating content, or lost logins to their accounts. This could result in a lot of lost content on YouTube, big and small. Google plans to do this to avoid inactive accounts being used to scam/phish, as they're more prone to being compromised, but it is causing concern to those who see this as a preservation issue.
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