YouTube has reinstated hundreds of crypto-currency related channels after admitting it had removed them “in error”
A wave of YouTubers received notifications that their videos were in breach of the platform’s terms of service earlier this week, BBC reported.
The move appeared to target smaller channels and publishers that focused on bitcoin and cryptocurrency content.
The Google-owned video sharing platform has since apologized for the mistake.
But some crypto-bloggers have complained that their videos have not been restored after several days.
“This is a huge wake up call, and I’m researching decentralized alternatives,” said Chris Dunn, who has more than 200,000 subscribers on YouTube.
Dunn told CoinDesk on Thursday that he had a goodbye video ready to go and was only waiting for the situation to clear up.
Video-makers initially took to Twitter to share their frustration, after many well-established channels claimed that YouTube had been ignoring their complaints.
Alex Saunders, founder of Nugget’s News, told his followers that the incident felt “really scary,” and claimed YouTube was failing to communicate with its users.
He wrote on Twitter: “Hi @TeamYouTube, with over 100 videos removed and two strikes in 24 hours I have still not even received an email from you. This is really scary. We’ve hired new staff. I have a wife and baby to support. I can’t fix the problem if I don’t know what I’ve done or who to communicate with?”
Hi @TeamYouTube with over 100 videos removed & 2 strikes in 24 hours I have still not even received an email from you. This is really scary. We've hired new staff. I have a wife & baby to support. I can't fix the problem if I don't know what I've done or who to communicate with!?
— Alex Saunders (@AlexSaundersAU) December 26, 2019
Several other crypto-bloggers echoed his complaints, with some suggesting that they intended to boycott the platform completely.
YouTube said in a statement that it had “made the wrong call” and confirmed that any content mistakenly removed would be restored.
“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call,” it said.
“When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”
It said there had been no changes to its polices, and insisted there would be “no penalty” to any channels that were affected by the incident.
YouTube has also promised to give people an easier way to deal with copyright disputes stemming from their content.
Many video-makers have complained that YouTube’s current systems let so-called “copyright trolls” make false claims on their videos, while its automated detection tools often fail to understand when material has been legally used.
Video-makers who receive copyright claims against footage in their videos will now be given the option to automatically “trim” the disputed segment from their clips.
“We’re providing more transparency about the content of the copyright takedown than ever before, now surfacing the specific description of the copyrighted work provided by the claimant in the takedown notice,” the company said on its official blog.
‘Deep state’ conspiracy?
Some crypto observers were not convinced that YouTube’s actions were the result of an honest mistake.
In a tweet, prominent crypto figure Kim Dotcom said, “YouTube is now reinstating the videos of crypto influencers. This wasn’t an accident. YouTube & Google are in bed with the deep state. This attempt to silence the crypto community has failed. We are many and we made noise. Let this be a warning. Expect / prepare for more trouble.”
YouTube is now reinstating the videos of crypto influencers. This wasn’t an accident. YouTube & Google are in bed with the deep state. This attempt to silence the crypto community has failed. We are many and we made noise. Let this be a warning. Expect / prepare for more trouble.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) December 26, 2019
Crypto-related content is being reinstated, but many YouTubers have expressed interest in moving to blockchain-based social media platforms to share content, Cointelegraph reported.
LBRY, a decentralized content sharing and publishing platform that has been used by over 500,000 people, told Cointelegraph that nearly 200,000 people have started using the platform in the last month.
LBRY’s Twitter account, @LBRYio, tweeted a notice to impacted YouTubers to sync their content to library in case YouTube deletes content on a whim again.
All of this has happened before.
And it will happen again.
The only solution is to take *true* ownership.
One-click sync at https://t.co/VzS6REyjRx
— LBRY (@LBRYio) December 27, 2019