A ban on YouTube videos and channels covering crypto topics began on December 24th.
Many channels have had their videos removed and many have received a warning strike causing the publication of new videos to be suspended for a week.
The problem was the failure to comply with the platform’s rules regarding content deemed harmful or dangerous and in particular, those prohibiting the promotion of websites that sell risky products.
The reason is that websites selling cryptocurrencies and tokens, such as exchanges, have been included in this list and this has inevitably led many crypto channels to automatically violate these rules.
However, there was no indication that it was in fact forbidden to promote websites such as exchanges on YouTube, so over the years many videos have done so. As a result, the Christmas ban has been a real bloodbath for crypto channels.
Youtube ban: all a mistake?
According to new developments, YouTube’s initiative was the result of their mistake, to the extent that in some specific cases it was explicitly admitted.
The official Twitter profile TeamYouTube has responded publicly admitting the mistake in at least one case. The YouTuber Crypt0 that reported the bloodbath in progress, after having his removed videos restored, has received the following response:
“Update – We’re glad that you see your videos are back up! This was an error on our side during the review process -strikes should be reinstated and resolved. The policy team is actively working on the remaining affected channels. Thanks so much for your patience!”
Update – We’re glad that you see your videos are back up! This was an error on our side during the review process -strikes should be reinstated and resolved. The policy team is actively working on the remaining affected channels. Thanks so much for your patience!
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) December 26, 2019
Although not all crypto channels are back to normal at the moment, some channels, such as that of Crypt0, are currently active.
In the meantime also MetaMask had declared that its Android client had been suspended from Google Play, due to an alleged violation of the rule that prohibits mining on mobile devices, but even in this case, it seems to be a mistake.
In the last week, the MetaMask Android client was suspended by the Google Play App Store @googleplaydev. They cited their policy that bans mining on mobile, which we don't. Appeal rejected. #ProtectWeb3.https://t.co/rfP4EbOAqv!?zippy_activeEl=cryptocurrencies%23cryptocurrencies
— MetaMask (@metamask_io) December 26, 2019
YouTube is owned by Google, so it’s possible that the whole matter is a corporate initiative based on incorrect interpretations of the rules or a lack of understanding of the activities of those who operate in the crypto sector.
At this stage, it is not clear what kind of mistake it was, also because not all crypto channels have had their warning strikes withdrawn. Nevertheless, it is safe to assume that in the next few hours, or at most days, the majority of them will be back to normal.
It is possible to assume that it was a mistake to include websites selling cryptocurrencies and tokens, such as exchanges, in the list of those that are automatically monitored by YouTube spider software, causing the automatic removal of all videos that link them in the description, together with the corresponding warning strike.
During these days of outright panic among crypto YouTubers all over the world, people have started talking about possible decentralised alternatives to YouTube considering that, because of its centralisation, its operators have the power to do whatever they want, insofar as permitted by law.
According to a survey, the preferred decentralised alternative to YouTube would be Steemit, followed by LBRY and Dtube, but none of them is even remotely capable of making such an audience available to creators.
The gap is such that to date there is still no crypto YouTubers that have announced their intention to move to other platforms.