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YouTube’s 180 on Banning Crypto Content

by Pragati Shrivastava

If you are a YouTube content creator then you’ve likely seen the news about how they went around deleting cryptocurrency and blockchain content from its platform. Several reports from these video creators, large and small, reported that there seemed to be a blanket sweep of crypto-related videos with warning being given that their videos were deleted on grounds that the content is “harmful or dangerous.” Well, YouTube’s ban on crypto content did a 180 and content is visible again, but this has left a lot of distrust and anger throughout the crypto community.

Google’s relationship with Bitcoin has been fraught with conflict for years, however, it took a turn for the worse, when the giant started banning Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ads. Some explain that this was, perhaps, a contributing factor to the fall in the price of Bitcoin. That too became a 180 decision and Google began to to allow ads again, in selected countries. Apparently, this has put Bitcoin traders in a tight spot and unfairly targeted cryptocurrencies, crypto traders and all related entities.

YouTube vs. Content Creators

Popular YouTuber Chris Dunn has been making YouTube Videos for years and has more than 200,000 subscribers with over 7 million views. The platform issued a warning to this YouTuber, that his content containing cryptocurrencies could be deleted. The YouTuber shared images of the warning that YouTube sent him. In fact, following the warning, his videos were removed citing the fact that his content violated YouTube’s policy.

I would like to quote YouTube here:

“Your channel now has 1 strike. This means you won’t be able to do things like upload post, or live stream for 1 week. A second strike will prevent you from publishing content for 2 weeks. Three strikes in any 90-day period will result in permanent removal of your channel.”

The dangerous content was titled, ‘Is Bitcoin Really Money,’ ‘17 Lessons For Traders & Investors,’ ‘How To Trade The 5 Major Cryptocurrency Market Cycles,’ among others. YouTube has targeted other YouTubers as well. Previously this happened to Crypto Influencers on Crypto Twitter. Several accounts were suspended and never got back online. Other YouTubers have mentioned that their content that was educational was branded ‘harmful and dangerous’.

YouTube’s new algorithm may be responsible for these activities. Top crypto tubers – BTC Sessions and Chris Dunn are appealing several videos to see whether it is possible to change YouTube’s decision. This decision has affected a large number of sites and blogs that share content on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

As of December 27, 2019, YouTube has issued a statement saying that the decision to ban Bitcoin and cryptocurrency videos from its site was an “error” and the removed videos would be reinstated. YouTube’s spokesman said that with massive volume of videos on the website, such errors creep in and are unavoidable. The platform was prompt to correct such errors when it was brought to light.

The biggest concern surrounding this issue was that this error affected smaller channels and video creators, not giants like CoinDesk and CoinTelegraph. The videos targeted by YouTube crossed hundreds, if not thousands of people. Many influencers decided to turn against the video-sharing giant and challenge the decision, and their ability to censor so many content creators based on topic instead of merit.

YouTube is influencing an entire generation of people and it has become the go-to place for educational videos and the first port of call for new people entering the ecosystem to learn the basics. As a community, we should challenge this formally. Meanwhile, media across the world has been investigating reasons for the purge. Others are actively pursuing decentralized solutions to rehome their content.

The first instinct for most is that the search giant may be attempting to protect the consumer from scams, but we are not so quick to forget that Google banned crypto and blockchain ads earlier this year. So did Facebook. That was reversed and due to lack of regulatory clarity in the U.S., mostly from distinguishing the difference between securities and altcoins. We await further action and updates from the video content sharing giant.

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