This Christmas many of the most avid YouTube content creators in the crypto space got an unexpected gift… a channel strike accompanied with the removal of hundreds, perhaps even thousands of their videos.
It’s a complete crypto mayhem in fact and many are having their most popular videos taken down in the eve of Christmas. What a way to celebrate ey?
I’m probably least affected since only a few of my videos received the strike but other creators such as Chris Dunn, Heidi, BTC Sessions, Ivan On Tech and Chico Crypto are reporting a much bigger scale of the attack coming from Youtube right now.
It’s no secret that YouTube has been suppressing some channels’ content for years, many of the creators I’m following have expressed concerns over the past couple of years and reported that their views have dropped by more than 50%, in some cases even worse. I myself have had similar situation with my own channel in the past year as well. The difference this time is, that right now we’re seeing people’s videos being taken down for “violating community guidelines” which is a very broad excuse and could include anything from having referral links or donation address in the description, to actually soliciting financial advice and a number of other finance-related activities that are deemed violation by Youtube. What makes no sense at all to me though, is the fact that many of the videos that are being removed, are in fact from a couple of years ago. I spoke to Ivan On Tech and he’s had a few videos removed that were from 2018. The videos I had removed, were even older – from early 2017… so what exactly has triggered this YouTube crackdown and why is it mainly affecting videos from times past… is yet to be revealed.
You can see, both of my videos are educational, one is about the Segwit upgrade and what it actually means, the other one is about a hard fork called Bitcoin Gold which occurred in 2017 and I reported about it – without any financial advice or other call to action to my viewers, which means there’s little room left for YouTube to justify this action and I do not expect them to get into the specifics on why and what did they deem as inappropriate. They rarely get into such details. I will keep you updated on this but the bottom line is, we are using a centralized platform and we are all at the mercy of those who control and run YouTube as a private company despite providing public service. It’s what centralized authorities do. They can decide whose content stays visible and as if it’s up to them, we will only watch make-up tutorials and nonsense-driven “LOL” type of content. This is always recommended by Youtube, even if you’re not into that kind of time-wasters. It’s non-political, non-threatening and most of all, makes people spend their time on un-important stuff – exactly what the ruling elite wants from their subordinates.
However, if their control spreads more and affects even more content creators, its popularity will be threatened and it opens the door for decentralized platofrms like LBRY to get in the game and win over the crypto community. Steemit unfortunately requires a video link, so it’s not really an alternative, but LBRY is offering the option to upload content directly and this is why many of the creators are now moving over there to avoid having their videos removed again. The only downside to this is that it’s still early days for LBRY and only a handful of users know about it, so it will be a long while before we get to use it on its own. YouTube is still having the highest discovery and that is unlikely to change any time soon.
—- (added on 26th Dec)—-
Today IBS Intelligence reported in an article that due to public outcry from the crypto community, Youtube has reinstated the videos that were removed. The excuse was rather vague and came as generic as one can expect from YouTube – they blame it on a rogue algorithm which was done as an error.
However, some argue that this was linked to the expanding regulatory issues surrounding the COPPA – the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which for the past few years has been applied to more and more services and recently involved YouTube changing their terms yet again, asking everyone to comply with even more restrictions.
Like it or not, the fact is that YouTube is essential to all vloggers today and is the most popular platform even after a decade. In my case, YouTube videos helped me tremendously in the early days when I was learning about crypto and this type of censoring of educational content (and not even the really risky, trading or ICO shilling content) is giving us some food for thought. Despite this being played out as an error, it raised the awareness of vloggers about the risks of their content being censored without even being issued a warning. The result is: more and more content creators will now diversify their platforms and we will see Bittubers, Dtube, LBRY and others gain more traction in the future but will they manage to provide the much-needed alternative with a reasonable traffic and greater discovery than what they currently offer is questionable still.