YouTube purges thousands of cryptocurrency videos before claiming deletions were ‘in error’
Google LLC’s YouTube has deleted thousands of bitcoin and cryptocurrency-related videos in an apparent purge but in a backflip is now claiming that the deletions were “in error.”
The purge started just before Christmas and primarily targeted small independent channels. Creators claimed they received no correspondence from YouTube as to why their videos had been deleted.
One creator, Alex Saunders from Nuggets News, a blockchain education channel dating back to 2012, claimed on Twitter Wednesday to have had more than 100 videos removed in 24 hours and said he received two strikes with no explanation. A strike is a warning to a channel for breaching copyright or YouTube community standards. Three strikes result in a YouTube channel being banned.
Adding some more light as to why YouTube may have removed videos, another cryptocurrency video creator Chriss Dunn of ChrisDunnTV wrote that YouTube had removed most of his videos citing “harmful or dangerous content” and sale of regulated goods.”
In both those cases, videos removed were either educational or news-based and in no way were they, for example, pitching scam content or doing anything else nefarious in any way that should have attracted the attention of YouTube, and they never had before now.
Exactly how many channels were affected is unclear, but it may have extended to hundreds of creators, many simply having their channels shut down.
The Crypto YouTube Purge of 2019 pic.twitter.com/BkT63iC9Er
— Brad Michelson (@BradMichelson) December 25, 2019
Despite the purge being coordinated, YouTube has seemingly since backflipped. A spokesperson told Decrypt that the videos were removed erroneously.
“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call,” the spokesperson said. “When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”
The spokesperson went on claim that there had been no change in policies concerning cryptocurrency and that all affected videos had been reinstated without any penalty to the channel.
Still, not all cryptocurrency videos have been restored and several channels terminated in the purge remain down as of the time of writing.
Although some in the cryptocurrency community are now discussing the need for their own social media platform, the alternative is already on the table: the regulation of YouTube.
A bill proposed by Republican Senator Josh Hawley earlier this year would result in YouTube having its legal protection for content uploaded removed if it doesn’t agree to implement policies that prevent bias. Hawley is targeting political bias but that could easily be extended to other forms of bias as well, potentially including cryptocurrency content.
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