As crypto influencers are celebrating the holiday reports started appearing on social media that Google has started censoring their material on leading online content distribution channel YouTube. Google removed hundreds of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency videos from YouTube, leaving many in the crypto sector feeling unfairly targeted by the tech giant’s actions.
On Dec. 23, Chris Dunn tweeted that YouTube removed most of his crypto videos, citing “harmful or dangerous content” and “sale of regulated goods.” Dunn has been making videos for 10 years and has over 200,000 subscribers and over 7 million views.
.@YouTube just removed most of my crypto videos citing "harmful or dangerous content" and "sale of regulated goods"… it's been 10 years of making videos, 200k+ subs, and 7M+ views. WTF are you guys doing @TeamYouTube?! pic.twitter.com/MPcKbBVrC4
— Chris Dunn (@ChrisDunnTV) December 23, 2019
Other popular figures in the crypto world soon joined the conversation as they discovered that some of the most popular videos they posted years ago were removed from the YouTube platform and classified as promoting harmful or hazardous material. Not only are videos being taken down, but several crypto YouTubers are also reporting they are restricted from posting new videos.
In a screenshot shared by Dunn, showing a further explanatory notice from YouTube, a “strike” against a channel prevents the YouTuber from uploading, posting, or streaming content for one week. A second strike extends this restriction to two weeks, while a third within any 90 days results in the permanent removal of the channel. A second strike reaches this limitation to a period of two weeks, while a third within 90 days results in the forced removal of the channel from the video streaming giant.
Dunn confirmed that his channel strike has been removed, although “only a few” of his videos were reinstated:
5/ Just noticed today's new strike is gone and a FEW videos are back (but dozens are still missing).
— Chris Dunn (@ChrisDunnTV) December 26, 2019
YouTube has also reached out Carl The Moon, apologizing for “an error on our side during the review process.”
Finally an official response from YouTube! Good news!
However, I’ve learnt a valuable lesson, not to trust or be too dependent on a central authority.
I will try to “decentralize” my audience from now on!
This “mistake” created some serious issues for us YouTubers. https://t.co/Xhcvv6a1UP
— The Moon (@TheMoonCarl) December 26, 2019
There were speculations that the recent YouTube crackdown may have something to do with potential violations of Securities Act § 17(b). The “anti-touting” provision requires promoters of securities to disclose any compensation they received for their promotion. YouTuber Omar “Crypt0” Bham, wrote, “It seems that a reason why YouTube would have to go after crypto channels is any links to external websites/exchanges in video descriptions.” YouTube removed Bram’s video for violating the “sale of regulated goods policy.”
The International Business Times reported YouTube has previously removed videos en masse for security reasons, specifically those infected with the Stantinko botnet. Computer security experts have recently observed platform violations to disseminate crypto-jacking malware.
Regardless of the apparent purge’s intentions, many in the cryptocurrency community are now pointing towards blockchain-based alternatives to Google’s platform, such as Streamanity.
YouTube’s parent company, Google, previously banned cryptocurrency ads before reversing course to allow them again in September 2018 after a three-month block.
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