A variety of YouTube channels have been negatively impacted by Google’s new update for YouTube’s community guidelines. This has resulted in the termination of a variety of channels, including One Angry Gamer’s channel, and channels like Censored Gaming getting community strikes, along with TheGG’s YouTube channel being completely demonetized.
Search Engine Journal did a quick article on the revised guidelines. The article explains the first change regarding custom thumbnails…
“YouTube will now issue a strike for custom thumbnails that egregiously violate policies, even if the video itself does not violate any policies.
“An egregious violation refers to thumbnails containing adult material or graphic violence.
“Channels that receive more than one strike will lose their ability to use custom thumbnails. Three strikes in 90 days will result in account termination.“
This is pretty standard stuff, and Google updating YouTube’s rules regarding thumbnails isn’t unexpected.
They also will downrank, prohibit, or remove dangerous prank videos that encourage others to participate in those pranks. I imagine a lot of satire, parody, and comedy videos will get hit in that one.
What did catch a lot of people by surprise, however, was the use of external links. In the article it explains…
“YouTube will now issue strikes for adding external links to sites that egregiously violate policies. An egregious violation refers to links to sites that contain adult content, malware, or spam.
“Receiving three strikes in 90 days will result in account termination.”
This is what actually got the One Angry Gamer channel shut down on January 8th, 2019. The videos included external links to the social media channels of One Angry Gamer, along with a link to the website. Google ended up striking a video that was over a month old saying that it was being removed for “spam” and that the channel was permanently terminated for “spam”. This came after two other unlisted videos were hit with strikes for breaking Google’s community guidelines.
Attempting to appeal the decision was futile, and YouTube upheld the termination of the account.
The trailer for the game was to actually highlight one of the many games that had been banned from Steam, but YouTube still felt it was “spam”.
But this wasn’t an isolated incident. Censored Gaming also ran into a similar problem, where their content was given a community strike as well for “spam”.
So somebody flagged our recent Mortal Kombat video for “spam” and YouTube actually reviewed it and took the video down, leaving us with a strike. Needless to say, the video didn’t break any rules and wasn’t “spam” @TeamYouTube pic.twitter.com/ig9FrXZT1C
— Censored Gaming (@CensoredGaming_) January 26, 2019
The community strike came in lieu of Censored Gaming’s video about why Mortal Kombat 11 was banned in Japan. The video was labeled as “spam”.
Censored Gaming notes that they followed all of YouTube’s rules regarding outbound links and sponsored content, but the video was still reported for “spam”.
The only thing that could have even possibly resembled “spam” was having a sponsored shout-out at the start of the video. But that isn’t against the rules and we always make sure to tick this box to inform YouTube about it @TeamYouTube pic.twitter.com/gkPWWwVbLB
— Censored Gaming (@CensoredGaming_) January 26, 2019
On the upside, on January 27th, 2019 Censored Gaming’s video was actually restored and the community strike was removed.
The video is now back up! https://t.co/woB54mqqDS Thank you to everybody for sharing! Still have not heard from anybody at YouTube but at least it’s back up now and the strike removed
— Censored Gaming (@CensoredGaming_) January 27, 2019
Others haven’t been quite as lucky, though. Places like The Gaming Ground were also impacted, with all of their content being demonetized.
HAHA! @Youtube just stripped us of the ability to make money on Youtube. In all seriousness, are you for real?
— The Gaming Ground 🎮 (@TheGamingGround) January 28, 2019
But it’s not just gamers and gaming outlets being affected.
Vegan Gains also had his channel terminated for violating the community guidelines as well.
Even though people have been reaching out to YouTube about the issue, they haven’t been receiving many responses, and what responses they have received have only redirected them back to Google’s support system to file an appeal.
uh @TeamYouTube what’s going on with all of these channels being terminated unfairly? since when can you retroactively strike videos from years ago with no warning to the creator? @VeganGains’ channel is gone but somehow durianrider’s & fucking onision’s was reinstated?
— Mango Indigo 🍾 (@Margolndigo) January 28, 2019
Fresh channels looking to challenge the status quo were also hit right out of the gate, getting shut down shortly after uploading less than a handful of videos.
This new channel (@ytgwala) with 3 uploads was about to blow up before @TeamYouTube decided to press the delete button on him and unfairly hit all his videos with community guideline strikes! This is absolutely fucked up. it’s hard enough to grow as is! https://t.co/C0e7qk8WxE pic.twitter.com/Mcr71hfgWg
— Josh (@Bowblax) January 29, 2019
You can view the latest video that was deleted on YouTube via a re-upload over on BitChute.
It appears this is Google’s way of wiping out smaller and mid-sized channels using the algorithm to label old videos as “spam”.
This will also negatively impact others who have outbound links to websites, shops, or Patreon accounts, because if the “spam” classifier keeps escalating then eventually YouTubers will be forced to remove all outbound links from their videos. So far YouTube has yet to classify what kind of outbound links are actually “spam”, and so a lot of people are left in the dark about what they can and cannot include in the description box.
YouTube outlet A Call For An Uprising also covers the more insidious aspects of the new community update.
(Thanks for the news tip TheGG)