Netflix Claims It Posted New Password-Sharing Rules on Accident

By Jessica Lerner 

We may not have clarity on the particulars surrounding Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown efforts after all.

Earlier this week, the streamer shared new details about its upcoming plans on when and how your account should and shouldn’t be shared. The new rules would require users to verify their home devices each month, block devices outside the home and encourage them to open their own accounts.

However, those new rules were removed from the Netflix Help Center on Wednesday, with Netflix alleging they were posted by accident.

“For a brief time yesterday, a help center article containing information that is only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, went live in other countries,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. “We have since updated it.”

In a perfect world, we’d take Netflix at its word, but given the criticism online, we have to wonder if Netflix simply decided to backtrack for the time being. After all, admitting a mistake can be forgiven more easily than the possibly tone-deaf rules that prevent those within the single household but travel for a living or are away at college from accessing the streamer.

Any future changes would be communicated to subscribers first before taking effect, but who’s to say those aren’t controversial as well?

Password sharing has long been the bane of Netflix’s existence, prompting it to launch several efforts to mitigate the issue in 2022.

Most recently, the company announced it would roll out paid sharing “more broadly” later this quarter.

The changes will restrict Netflix’s use to a single household. Members can move profiles to new accounts and check which devices are using their accounts.

“This will not be a universally popular move,” new co-CEO Greg Peters said during the company’s prerecorded fourth earnings call of the password-sharing crackdown. “So there will be current members that are unhappy with this move and we’ll see a bit of a cancel reaction to that.”

However, he said, after things settle, new subscribers will come back with “borrowers creating their own accounts or incremental monetization through the extra member,” as the streamer’s “amazing” titles will win them back.