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YouTube Created A Generation of Young Stars Then Uses It’s Algorithms Against Them

Dolan twins among the big names taking a break from the video site, citing the demand of having to keep creating fresh content. YouTube Created a Generation of Young Stars. Now They Are Getting Burned Out

The latest trend among YouTube’s hottest stars: feeling burned-out by the whole experience.

Having achieved success, some top influencers are deciding to disconnect from the video-sharing platform, worn down by what some say are the demands of YouTube’s algorithm for fresh content to promote.

Last week, controversial YouTube superstar PewDiePie, who was the first individual creator to hit 100 million subscribers, said in a video that he was taking a break—“I’m feeling very tired”—as did the comedy duo Ethan and Grayson Dolan in October. In their video, posted on YouTube, the Dolan twins said that after five years of posting to the platform every Tuesday, they needed to stop posting every week to preserve their mental health.

“We have a job where you can’t just take off because there’s the fear of becoming irrelevant,” Grayson Dolan said. “I can’t even go home to see my mom.”

The New Jersey natives started posting to YouTube when they were 14 as a passion project, and then moved to Los Angeles when it took off. Now 20 years old, they have accumulated more than 10 million subscribers.

A unit of Alphabet Inc. ’s Google, YouTube responded to their decision on Twitter : “We’re proud of the Dolan twins. And all creators putting their well-being first.”

Still, the exodus of top influencers is a potential issue for YouTube, which has flourished in part by cultivating an ecosystem of creators who produce endless hours of original content. Some influencers on other social networks, such as Facebook Inc. ’s Instagram, experience burnout too, but YouTube as a video platform is unique because of the amount of time creators spend crafting their content. Alphabet doesn’t report YouTube’s financial results, but analysts estimate YouTube brought in as much as $15 billion in revenue last year.

Susan Wojcicki, chief executive of YouTube, addressed the topic of burnout in a letter to creators in late November. “We want to encourage you to take care of yourself and invest in recovery,” she said.

YouTube also has posted a series of videos aimed at influencers to offer tips on how to balance all the work that goes into being an influencer. In one, licensed therapist and YouTube creator Kati Morton encourages YouTubers to find ways to take time off, even in the form of internet-free days.

A spokeswoman for YouTube said the company encourages its creators to make their videos in a healthy, sustainable way, and to know “if they need a break that their audience will be on YouTube when they return.”

Yet YouTubers say they are afraid to take time off, out of fear it will hurt how their videos are highlighted on the site, which uses an algorithm to determine which ones to recommend. While the algorithm is a mystery, many influencers say it rewards accounts that post frequently with more page views.

More views mean more money. YouTube places ads at the beginning and midway through videos, and pays the creators depending on how many times the ads are viewed. YouTube doesn’t release how much money it pays, though creators say it varies, from a couple dollars to hundreds of dollars for every thousand views. For a celebrity YouTuber who receives half a million views a month, that can work out to millions of dollars a year.

As a result, YouTubers are creating more original content than ever, and young people around the world aspire to be famous on the platform. Influencer-marketing platform Captiv8 estimates there are now more than 1.7 million YouTubers with more than 5,000 subscribers who have received sponsorships from brands.

The YouTube spokeswoman said the company processes more than 80 billion signals every day, such as dislikes, surveys and time well spent, that go into how it chooses which videos to recommend to users. YouTube doesn’t take upload frequency or past video performance into account, although it does consider upload recency, she said.

YouTubers say they can tell what the algorithm prioritizes based on which videos do well and which tank.

For Casey Neistat, a 38-year-old filmmaker and YouTube star in Los Angeles, that meant realizing that uploading videos every day was the way to grow his subscribers. His first five years posting videos to YouTube, he posted sporadically. Some of his videos did well, but his subscriber growth was “anemic” until he started uploading daily, he said in a video in 2016.

Creators say YouTube’s algorithm appears to push traffic to the most recent videos. Then when someone watches a video, the algorithm suggests other recent content from the same creator. This setup pushes YouTubers to post more videos to get traffic both to their new content and to keep their older posts in the mix.

“The longer you don’t post, the lower your numbers dip. There is a direct correlation,” said Lizzy Capri, who used to work for LinkedIn and now posts funny videos to YouTube such as the time she turned her yard into a petting zoo.

A spokeswoman for YouTube said the company’s product team analyzed data that showed channels on YouTube have more views after their creators return from time off than right before they left.

YouTubers face growing pressure in an increasingly crowded field where there is now more competition than ever for eyeballs. With the explosion of creators, there has been an accompanying feeling that if you don’t work all the time, someone else will, said Mikey Murphy, who posted sketch comedy videos and video logs once a week for five years, starting in New Jersey when he was 14. “It wasn’t like this when we started,” Mr. Murphy said.

Online, Mr. Murphy typically appeared bubbly and upbeat. But right before his 20th birthday last year, he realized he had hit a breaking point. “Setting the camera on a tripod and being the most happy, hyper, awesome version of myself for an hour straight started to feel very unnatural,” Mr. Murphy said.

“I started to dread everything that was YouTube-related. It was a sinking feeling in my stomach,” Mr. Murphy said. Now in Los Angeles, he is focusing more on writing and directing films, some for YouTube, and he is set to premiere a show on Snapchat Originals. He still posts to his YouTube channel but not as frequently, prioritizing videos that push his creativity.

YouTube is considering ways to tweak its product to alleviate creator burnout. Earlier this year, the company started rounding the subscriber counts that it displays to creators, to dissuade them from obsessing about the daily fluctuations in their numbers.

But despite YouTube’s changes, Ms. Capri said it’s still very apparent in her traffic reports that if she doesn’t post frequently, her videos won’t do as well. “If I took a month off, I’d see a huge drop,” she said.

Fake Followers In Influencer Marketing Will Cost Brands $1.3 Billion This Year, Report Says

YouTube Created A Generation of Young Stars. Now They Are Getting Burned Out

Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian West, And Kendall Jenner Attend The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes On Fashion At Metropolitan Museum Of Art On May 06, 2019 In New York City.

Key Points:

Influencer marketing has become wildly popular as brands seek to reach relevant audiences on Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.

A new report says fake followers in influencer marketing will cost advertisers $1.3 billion this year.

Even people with 500 to 1,000 followers on social media can make some money by promoting products.

Brands pay billions of dollars globally a year to promote their products through influencers who have sizable followings on top social media sites. But a new report suggests that, for a good chunk of their spending, those advertisers are getting ripped off.

Influencer marketing gives brands of all sizes a way to reach relevant audiences on platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube in a way that might feel more authentic to a consumer. To appear more influential than they actually are, influencers can buy fake followers and pay for bots to like or comment on their posts.

That fraudulent activity is costing advertisers $1.3 billion this year, according to a report from Cheq, a cybersecurity company focused on the digital media space, and University of Baltimore economist and professor Roberto Cavazos.

The fraud figure represents about 15% of what the report predicts will be an $8.5 billion market this year in spending on global influencer marketing. Cheq derived the amount of expected fraud through an analysis of its own data, a review of services that exist to provide fake social media engagement, and research and surveys on the subject, said Daniel Avital, Cheq’s chief strategy officer. The analysis was part of a series of reports Cheq is publishing on the monetary cost of bad actors on the internet.

Having social media influence can be lucrative. According to the Cheq report, a “micro influencer” with 10,000 followers can make $250 for a sponsored post, while someone with a million or two followers can make $250,000 per post. Even individuals with 500 followers can get cash for posts. Followers don’t necessarily mean sales, though, as one Instagram star recently discovered. Arianna Renee, who has 2.6 million followers, recently tried to launch a clothing line but had to scrap it after selling very few products.

While there are plenty of legitimate influencers in the business, the opportunity also draws bad actors who turn to bots and click farms to juice their engagement numbers.

“It used to be you had to be a Kim Kardashian or Kylie Jenner kind of person to be an influencer,” Avital said. Now there are so many “tiers of influencer” that people with very niche followings can get involved in the business.

Avital said brands using influencer marketing should invest in their own vetting programs to ensure their influencers are legitimate. Though it requires time and labor, it’s “not a cybersecurity challenge,” he said. “It’s quite easy to understand if their followers are bogus.”

Consumers can also examine the legitimacy of influencers who are pitching them products by doing some analysis of their own.

“Say the person has 70,000 followers and they get 100 likes and zero comments per post — that red flag should go up,” said Mae Karwowski, founder and CEO of influencer marketing agency Obviously. Low engagement might mean that influencer is making content their followers don’t care about or they might not have real followers, she said.

Social platforms are making changes that might affect how fraudsters operate. For example, Instagram said last week it is expanding its test to hide “likes” in more markets.

Bob Gilbreath, general manager of influencer and social media marketing firm Ahalogy, said that type of move could create less pressure to engage in fraud because some brands currently only pay influencers if they receive a certain number of likes.

“The more we can clean it up and move away from anybody gaming the system, even if it makes our jobs harder, it will be better” for the industry, Gilbreath said.

Updated: 12-2019

Walmart, Target Embrace 8-Year-Old YouTube Influencer’s Brand

Child who made his name ‘unboxing’ toys now sits atop $150 million empire.

Like many children, Ryan Kaji knows what he wants for Christmas: a gift card for the Roblox videogame. What makes him different is that he is also the face of a toy brand himself that buttresses a $150 million retail empire. He is 8 years old.

Ryan made his name opening toys in YouTube videos, amassing 23 million subscribers to his “Ryan’s World” channel and more than $20 million a year in advertising revenue. Now, the second-grader from Texas is building his knack for “unboxing”—opening boxes of toys on camera—into a formidable franchise, with a TV show on children’s cable channel Nickelodeon and deals with Walmart Inc. WMT -1.05% and Target Corp. TGT -0.63% to sell his own line of toys, toothbrushes and even underwear.

Ryan’s first retail products hit shelves in 2018 through an exclusive partnership with Walmart. For this holiday season, Ryan’s parents, Shion Guan and Loann Guan, and his licensing and entertainment studio, pocket.watch, had bigger ambitions—to have more Ryan products in more stores and in as many departments as possible. To help Ryan understand the magnitude of his popularity, his father has considered presenting Ryan, who uses a stage name, with 23 million beans or marbles.

Ryan and other YouTube child stars’ influence has arguably eclipsed that of traditional TV commercials as children spend more time on the streaming platform. Today, there are roughly 1,000 Ryan products being carried in 75,000 stores. In Walmart’s toy aisle, there is Ryan’s “super surprise safe,” which retails for $39.82. It is a plastic cabinet with several boxes inside that children can bash, smash or tear through to get to the various Ryan-branded trinkets within, including slime and action figures. In the bedding aisle at Target, a $40 Ryan’s World “Twin Mystery Sleepover Egg Super Blanky” hides a half dozen surprise goodies including a pillowcase and a mask.

“We wanted to make ‘Ryan’s World’ a bigger global franchise than anything on TV,” said Chris Williams, founder and chief executive officer of pocket.watch, a Culver City, Calif., studio that seeks to turn YouTube child stars into franchises.

Retail sales for Ryan-branded products are expected to reach $150 million this year, compared with $42 million a year ago, according to pocket.watch.

A study by the NPD Group commissioned by the Toy Association said 42% of surveyed boys ages 2 to 5 said that they discovered toys on YouTube. The survey, which was released in November, also showed that 63% of respondents up to age 14 said that they bought or requested an item because they saw it on YouTube. About 43% of those respondents said the item was a toy, followed by videogames at 23%.

Ryan’s mom said she and her then-3-year-old began uploading videos of him opening toys in 2015 after he watched other children doing it and asked her if he could too. “Ryan ToysReview” was born. The reviews could be as brief as “awesome” or “wow” followed by several minutes of Ryan playing with the toys. Views and advertising money poured in, and he has been YouTube’s top earner two years running, according to Forbes.

That power has attracted some negative attention, particularly as the family began to get paid to feature certain toys or go to places like Chuck E. Cheese, according to a complaint filed by a consumer watchdog group. In August, Truth in Advertising wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission accusing the channel of deceptively pushing sponsored products to preschool-aged children who can’t distinguish ads from neutral content. Truth in Advertising said that it hasn’t received a response from the FTC. The agency said it doesn’t comment on submitted complaints.

A spokesperson for the family said they follow all terms of service and honor all existing laws regarding ad disclosure requirements.

Ryan also unboxes mystery toys on YouTube, in which a toy is hidden inside another one, like the safe. The “mystery surprise” category has become so big that traditional toy manufacturers are elevating it to new heights this holiday season.

Jim Silver, editor of review site Toys, Tots, Pets and More, or ttpm.com, estimates that this year eight of the top 10 toy companies are carrying things that have a surprise packaging element to it. In comparison, “only a handful” were doing it three years ago.

MGA Entertainment Inc. CEO Isaac Larian said he came across a gaggle of YouTube videos of children unboxing toys a few years ago. He thought it was strange but undeniably popular given the number that came up when he searched for the term. The next day he told his team to make “the ultimate unboxing toy,” he said. The brand that evolved from that—L.O.L. Surprise—has become a hit. Mr. Larian estimates the line has generated $5 billion in retail sales world-wide this year, up about 25% from last year. This year’s “L.O.L. Surprise Amazing Surprise” is an elaborate toy-opening maze consisting of a suitcase packed with 14 dolls and over 70 surprise baubles. It costs $98 and takes a child an average of one hour and 23 minutes to open, Mr. Larian said.

The question of how the YouTube page will evolve as Ryan gets older and the wish to minimize Ryan’s workload prompted his father, a former structural engineer, to start to imagine a world that expands beyond Ryan to animated characters.

Ryan goes to public school and spends three to four hours a week filming for the family’s nine channels, which produce more than 30 videos. “There was a huge risk of introducing those characters and scaling the business back from Ryan, but as a parent that was a risk we were willing to take to balance Ryan’s personal life.”

Child-development experts say that common-sense parenting, like making sure Ryan plays with other children his age, validating his emotions and tucking him in at night, would limit risks that could come with being a child YouTube star.

“If the commercialization undermines the opportunity for that kind of small group of friends playing without adult supervision, then that would be a risk,” said Dr. W. George Scarlett, a senior lecturer and Tisch Fellow at Tufts University who specializes in child development.

At age 8, Ryan wouldn’t necessarily understand what it means to be a star and have his face splashed across a thousand products, said Dr. Scarlett. That can become trickier as he hits his teen years, develops an awareness and can feel the pressure, Dr. Scarlett said.

The family’s production company, Sunlight Entertainment, has 30 employees who are tasked with creating a cast of animated characters and story lines that can take more of the spotlight. For instance, his father saw Ryan’s interest shift from opening toys to playing videogames, he designed a character named Combo Panda, a headphone-wearing cartoon animal that plays and reviews games. Ryan’s shows have expanded to include science experiments and DIY projects.

Mr. Williams of pocket.watch sees the brand already making the transition away from Ryan. He points to the Kellogg’s Ryan’s World Cereal on sale at Walmart. It isn’t Ryan’s face on the box, but that of Red Titan, Ryan’s cartoon superhero alter ego.

Updated: 12-25-2019

Cryptocurrency Influencers Speak Out On YouTube Deleting Crypto-Related Content

No further updates have yet been released from @TeamYouTube on Twitter.

YouTube Created A Generation of Young Stars. Now They Are Getting Burned Out

Regarding the matter, Bham told Cointelegraph, “That thread with Team YouTube was the extent of any direct responses that I’ve heard of. Team YouTube last updated us by linking to the regular YT community guidelines, and a reminder that we can appeal videos with a strike. Several YouTubers appealed, and had their appeals rejected, with no clear reason again as to why the video directly violated guidelines.”

Will An Alternative Emerge?

Although YouTube is ranked as the second most popular social media platform, with over 1.9 billion users, crypto influencers are looking for other platforms to share their content. In particular, blockchain-based social media platforms are proving to be appealing to the crypto community.

For example, LBRY is a sharing platform that uses blockchain technology to allow users to publish content and get paid. LBRY helps its users monetize their published material with its built-in payment system.

Monetization is also a critical aspect for many YouTubers. Recent statistics show that a number of YouTube channels generate six figures each year, an amount that is increasing by 40 percent every year.

According to Bham, who has been uploading crypto-related content to his YouTube page since 2016, a channel hit with a strike such as this may be unable to livestream for up to 90 days, heavily impacting a user’s income.

“As far as income, even with a successful appeal, a channel hit with a strike may be unable to livestream for up to 90 days,” Bham told Cointelegraph. “This has happened to me, and plummeted my income, since I relied heavily on real time engagement for my shows.” 

However, while LBRY offers a monetization system and a YouTube platform that lets YouTubers republish their content to the LBRY network, the platform is still not being utilized by many YouTubers just yet.

Naomi Brockwell, Host of YouTube channel NBTV, which has more than 30,000 subscribers,, told Cointelegraph that while she was not affected by the YouTube ban, she believes it is time to start looking at decentralized platforms like LBRY:

“I haven’t been affected by the youTube ban yet, but I would just add that we’ve had alternative decentralized platforms like LBRY for a long time with limited support from youtubers. Hopefully this is a wakeup call.”

However, some YouTubers who use decentralized platforms like LBRY have pointed out that their audience is limited on these channels, as most already have an understanding about cryptocurrency and blockchain.

“In addition to YouTube, many creators including myself are using decentralized content platforms such DTube, Steemit, Minds, LBRY, Bitchute & Bittube, explained Siegel of Crypto Finally. “While these platforms do solve the issue of censorship and takedowns of our content, it unfortunately still does limit our audiences. Meaning it limits everyday people from getting involved in crypto in the first place,” 

Moreover, while audiences are still limited on emerging decentralized platforms, there are other challenges that still need to be addressed. Privacy rights, regulations, copyright protection and more must be resolved before serious YouTubers migrate their content to these platforms.

Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, chimed in on Twitter about the dilemma, saying, “It may be time the crypto community take a stab at its own blockchain-enabled sensorship-resistant social media platform. Lots of challenges though, spam, scam, trolls, incentives, copyright, token economics, governance, stickiness, privacy… But It’s about time!”

Updated: 12-27-2019

YouTube Reinstates More Crypto-Related Content, Admits To Mistake Via Twitter

More crypto-related content is being re-enabled on YouTube after several days of unilateral deletions and non-communication from the video giant.

YouTube responded three hours ago via Twitter to YouTuber Carl The Moon regarding the crypto-related videos that have been removed from the platform this week.

YouTube Created A Generation of Young Stars. Now They Are Getting Burned Out

@TeamYouTube responded to a previous tweet sent by Carl The Moon (@themooncarl) on the matter, stating today:

“Hey there, this was an error on our side during the review process – your video should be reinstated and strikes resolved. Let us know if you’re seeing otherwise!”

Following the statement from @TeamYouTube, Carl The Moon told Cointelegraph via Twitter direct message:

“I can confirm that my warning/strike was removed, and most of the other censored YouTubers have also had their strikes removed.”

While Content Is Reinstated, Trust Is Lost

 

YouTube Created A Generation of Young Stars. Now They Are Getting Burned Out

Although @TeamYouTube has admitted to the platform’s mistake, a number of YouTuber’s were impacted over the holidays by the apparent ban that started on Dec. 23.

On Dec. 26, YouTuber Michelle M. who hosts the MamaeCrypto channel, tweeted that she is trying not to let the YouTube ban ruin her vacation.

Carl The Moon also explained that while his videos are back up, his trust in YouTube has been lost.

“YouTube has admitted that this was a mistake, but this has severely impacted YouTubers business,” said Carl The Moon. “However, the biggest thing I have learnt as a Youtuber is to not trust Youtube.”

YouTubers look towards decentralized content platforms

Although crypto-related content is being reinstated, many YouTubers have expressed interest in moving to blockchain-based social media platforms to share content.

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.

Moreover, some of the biggest names in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry are also sharing their thoughts on Twitter.

Founder and CEO of Binance, CZ, tweeted, “This is a good example of a short term setback, but probably good in the long term. Will let new platforms emerge with better freedom. People will create content and post them elsewhere.”

TRON CEO and Founder, Justin Sun, also chimed in, tweeting, “Posting your content through #BTFS and @BitTorrent. It will exist on internet forever and be available anytime anywhere!”

 

Updated: 12-26-2019

China’s Influencers Livestream Product Demos to Followers, Drive Web Advertising

China’s influencer economy goes live; millions put in long hours hawking products on the internet.

HANGZHOU, China—A 21st-century version of the infomercial has become the hot, if occasionally risky, way to sell stuff in China’s vast market.

Zhu Di didn’t realize he wanted a $164 soybean milk machine until Viya, an internet celebrity who promotes healthy living, told him on a live online show that he needed one. The 25-year-old Shanghai resident sprung for it, just two weeks after buying a coffee machine that Viya also hawked.

“Sometimes I prefer a cup of coffee in the early morning, but sometimes I may like soybean milk, which is more healthy,” he said.

Internet “influencers” such as Viya are taking on conventional advertising in China, mirroring a similar phenomenon in the U.S. where questions have arisen about influencer tactics and effectiveness.

Known in the e-commerce industry as key opinion leaders, or KOLs, livestreaming moms and farmers—and even a dog—were among those who sold more than $4 billion of goods in China in 2018, according to Ruhnn Holding, China’s largest influencer company.

It’s a small fraction of the $2 trillion in e-commerce expected in China in 2019, but an area that advertisers are paying attention to. This year, 67% of advertisers said internet celebrities and influencers have become their preferred method of advertising in China, according to a survey from marketing firms AdMaster and TopMarketing. Supporting them is a new cottage industry of producers and talent agencies, which has doubled in size in two years.

China’s influencers, estimated at 21 million last year by marketing research firm WARC, have embraced livestreaming on platforms such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. ’s Taobao and Douyin, a version of TikTok. Although Amazon.com Inc. has dabbled with livestreaming and influencer channels, livestreaming is still nascent in the U.S., where social-media influencers largely promote products via posts and short videos on Instagram and YouTube. If anything, China’s livestreamed videos evoke American television infomercials from a previous era.

Consumers in China are more receptive to brand recommendations by online celebrities than in any other country surveyed, according to consulting firm A.T. Kearney. That’s partly because Chinese consumers have a long history of being cheated by counterfeit merchandise. Many say they trust online celebrities, who largely portray themselves as regular people, instead of websites or brands.

It “comes down to the inherent lack of trust by Chinese consumers,” said Mark Tanner, managing director of marketing-research firm China Skinny. “For many, Chinese KOLs are the most trustworthy and authentic source of information, particularly as there are relatively few other ways to get information with the state controlling the media.”

Brands like online influencers because they are effective. Roughly one in five consumers watching online infomercials will actually buy something, compared with less than 1% of consumers viewing conventional e-commerce advertising, according to technology research firm TopKlout.

Chinese online retail giant Alibaba has invested heavily in this growing sector, broadcasting the shows of about 100,000 livestream hosts a day on its shopping apps. Even leaders of China’s Communist Party discussed ways to co-opt online influencers for the party’s outreach arm in a meeting last month, state media reported.

There are downsides. Because fans are likely to feel a strong personal connection with the influencers they follow, outrage can be swift when they get caught up in a perceived betrayal.

One of China’s most famous influencers, Li Jiaqi, earned the nickname “Iron Lips,” after testing hundreds of lipstick shades on a single show. He became so popular that Alibaba founder Jack Ma joined him for a broadcast in 2018.

Less successful was Mr. Li’s attempt earlier this year to fry an egg on what he advertised as a nonstick pan. The egg stuck. Then in September, he advertised “hairy crabs,” which he said were a big, meaty delicacy from Suzhou. When the customers got the crustaceans, many complained they were neither big and meaty, nor from Suzhou.

Both incidents went viral. After the crab incident, the search term “Li Jiaqi’s alleged misleading advertising” had garnered more than 700 million hits on the Chinese social-media site Weibo. Mr. Li’s team said they would take responsibility for the crabs. As for the nonstick pan, he apologized and said he hadn’t properly prepared it for cooking.

“He betrayed my trust,” said Deng Xuerui, who received 10 undersized hairy crabs earlier this month. She said she used to watch Mr. Li’s shows daily but is no longer a fan. State-controlled newspapers piled on Mr. Li, suggesting that government regulations are needed to protect consumers from misleading ads. Through representatives, Mr. Li declined to be interviewed.

Influencers say the pay can be good: A key opinion leader can bring in about $50,000 with one prerecorded post on a social-media website, according to influencer agency Parklu. In the U.S., big-name stars can command $100,000 or more for a YouTube video or Instagram photo.

But the work can be grueling; many Chinese influencers host a live show six or seven days a week. Before the show, they practice using the products they are promoting and write rough scripts. During the show, they interact with fans. After, they sometimes send packages to viewers who win contests or trade text messages with their followers for hours.

Wang Xizi, a 29-year-old influencer, said her parents are raising her son in her hometown because of her busy schedule. She hosted two live shows a day for the three weeks before “Singles Day” on Nov. 11, the Chinese version of Black Friday. During a recent live broadcast at a studio in Hangzhou, Ms. Wang donned pleather pants, and an assistant pulled at her pant leg for 60 seconds to demonstrate that they wouldn’t lose elasticity.

Next, Ms. Wang’s husband stretched a pair of underwear in front of the camera while Ms. Wang, out of view, checked two phones to review online sales and comments.

Ms. Wang has faced some complaints from viewers who bought products she promoted. She once even used her own money to compensate them, in an effort to build long-term trust. “They show high understanding and consideration to us if we can show our sincerity and professionalism,” she said.

Updated: 12-27-2019

YouTube Crypto-Related Content Not Fully Restored, YouTubers Say “Nothing Has Changed”

On December 26, YouTube released a statement saying the platform had mistakenly removed hundreds of crypto-related videos this week.

However, many of the YouTubers affected by the ban still have not had their videos restored on the site.

YouTuber Ivan On Tech Told Cointelegraph On December 26th:

“Nothing has changed. YouTube said this was a mistake yesterday too. I’m not sure why they are saying this.”

Ivan on Tech’s YouTube account, which has more than 210,000 subscribers, received a strike from YouTube earlier this week. He has since set all of his crypto-related videos to private as a precaution.

YouTuber Carl The Moon also told Cointelegraph on December 26th that all of his videos are still removed from the platform, noting that he is not sure of the validity of YouTube’s recent statement.

“This was the first time I was punished by YouTube and I got a warning. When you have a warning, you will get a strike next time. After 3 strikes within 90 days, YouTube permanently removes your channel,” said Carl.

YouTube’s Community Guidelines Do Not Address Crypto

According to YouTube’s community guidelines, content is automatically removed if it violates the platform’s guidelines. This could include nudity or sexual content, harmful or dangerous content, hateful content, violent or graphic content, harassment or cyberbullying, spams, scams and more.

While this may be the case, crypto YouTubers have expressed confusion as to why their content is being deleted, a point of concern that YouTube has failed to clarify.

We do know that Alex Saunders YouTube channel, Nugget’s News, which has 64.6k subscribers, has been banned due to “harmful or dangerous content.”

Saunders posted in the r/ethereum community on Reddit 9 hours prior to press time that he woke up on Christmas to a strike warning from YouTube for posting “harmful or dangerous” content. Following this, Saunders received another strike in a matter of hours, even though he hadn’t taken any action since the first warning.

According To Saunder’s Reddit Thread,

“Today I woke up on Xmas to a strike warning from YouTube for harmful or dangerous content. Checked my email, nothing. A few hours later after Xmas lunch, another strike. I hadn’t even done anything on Youtube since the first strike. Still no email. I cover a lot of topics related to finance, economics, housing market, stocks as well as crypto related content. We don’t do paid ICO or token promotion. I have done tutorials on leverage trading platforms. I’m really not sure what to do. If the trend continues most crypto youtubers will be affected.”

Saunders also tweeted 11 hours prior to press time,“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!?”

YouTuber Omar Bham, who created a list of well-known YouTubers affected by the ban, received a response on Twitter from @TeamYouTube on December 24th.

Bham Told Cointelegraph That He Has Not Heard Any Updates From Youtube Since Then:

“The extent of this is unknown. I keep hearing of smaller channels, not on my list, which have completely disappeared.”

However, Bham did tweet 5 minutes ago to press an update that YouTube has restored his one video that had previously been taken down:

“Update: YouTube has repealed my warning and reposted the video, which they had previously removed. Crypto YouTube is not dead (just yet, anyway).”

YouTube has still not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for an update on the matter since admitting content was taken down as a mistake on December 24th.

Updated: 12-28-2019

What’s Next For YouTubers Impacted By Crypto-Related Content Ban?

On Dec. 23, thousands of YouTubers received emails from the video giant notifying them that their crypto-related videos had suddenly been deleted from the platform.

The ban, which lasted about four days before YouTube began reinstating videos, impacted YouTubers whose channels reached thousands of subscribers, as well as those with smaller audiences.

Unsurprisingly, many of the YouTubers impacted have now turned to decentralized video platforms to share their content. Creating engaging and informative blockchain and cryptocurrency videos has become a source of income for many of these individuals, which is why it’s important for them to have a reliable outlet to utilize.

CEO and Founder of LBRY, Jeremy Kauffman, told Cointelegraph, “Following the YouTube ban, access over the last 24 hours to LBRY has increased nearly 100% day-over-day.”

LBRY, a decentralized content sharing and publishing platform created in 2016, uses blockchain technology to allow content creators to store and download content in a peer-to-peer manner.

LBRY is also entirely open-source, meaning developers can contribute to the code that powers the platform. “I deeply believe in free speech, open source, and personal choice. LBRY is a reflection of all of those values,” said Kauffman.

Moreover, unlike YouTube, which has stringent content policies in place, Kauffman explained that LBRY doesn’t have strict policies regarding what users share and publish.

“LBRY as a protocol doesn’t have policies on these things, just like HTTP or SMTP doesn’t have a policy on these things. However, as a U.S. company, we do have a content policy for what is allowed to be stored on our servers.”

Kauffman also noted that YouTube has recently been the platform’s “number one supporter,” as many YouTubers have migrated over to LBRY as the video giant continues to “enforce rules, arbitrary, ban or demonetize people for flimsy reasons, etc.” He further explained:

“Building a business or a following on YouTube is building on quicksand. YouTube regularly censors and bans creators, with capricious and arbitrary rules enforcement.”

Youtuber Omar Bham Told Cointelegraph That He Has Been Recommending LBRY Since Youtube’s Crypto-Content Ban:

“As far as decentralized platforms, I’ve been recommending LBRY. The syncing process is simple, rewards can be claimed for all sorts of actions, and data syncs itself without any input from me. That will remain the case for any future uploads – they automatically end up on LBRY as a backup. This is powerful, as I don’t need to worry about YouTube one day removing all my videos permanently. They’ll live on.”

While this may be the case, Kaufmann pointed out that speed is a challenge the platform has been experiencing, as blockchains are notoriously slow databases. He noted that LBRY has since built additional tools to both query and serve information much faster.

In addition to LBRY, Steemit, a blockchain-based blogging and social media website launched in 2016, has also caught the attention of many YouTubers. The platform has over 1 million registered users and uses the cryptocurrency STEEM to reward its users for publishing content.

Unlike LBRY, which is focused specifically on digital media, Steemit functions more like a decentralized version of Reddit, providing users with an entire social network. Although it may be different from YouTube, video sharing platform DTube is a decentralized video platform built on top of the STEEM blockchain that resembles YouTube in appearance.

Like other decentralized video platforms, DTube has no central servers — all the content is stored on the STEEM blockchain. As a result, video content on DTube is almost impossible to tamper with.

Internet attorney and anti-bullying activist, Andrew Rossow, told Cointelegraph that while a platforms such as DTube and LBRY seems to be very promising, it’s also important to consider certain grey areas that decentralized platforms might not address.

“Having a blockchain-enabled social media platform that is censorship-resistant is good — but, keeping in mind certain protections with respect to intellectual property, phishing, scams, and other grey areas need to be considered.”

But, Is YouTube Being Responsible?

Ironically, YouTube’s chief executive, Susan Wojcicki, recently announced her goals for the platform in April, saying, “My top priority is responsibility.”

While this may be the case, YouTube has removed more than 100,000 videos and 17,000 channels since the company implemented changes to its content policies in June of this year.

According to a blog post, YouTube has been deleting violative content, highlighting authoritative content, reducing the spread of borderline content and rewarding trusted creators. Unfortunately, the platform has been removing more and more content that they personally think violates these policies — and cryptocurrency and blockchain have fallen into this category.

Is It Legal To Remove Content Without Notifying Creators?

Regarding the legality of removing content without notifying creators — or providing a valid reason as to why the content is being deleted — founder of Royse Law Firm and continuing studies instructor at Stanford University, Roger Royse, told Cointelegraph that it becomes a legal matter depending on the platform’s terms of service:

“As a legal matter, it all depends on what their terms of service allow. The large platforms are in a tough spot because there is so much legislative scrutiny on both their policies, as well as crypto. The SEC and other agencies have been notoriously hostile to crypto related businesses and they may view this as one more way for platforms to be regulated”.

Rossow Also Noted That Although What Youtube Has Done May Be Legal, It’s Not Justifiable:

“Arguably, YouTube as a content provider has the authority and right to remove content that it feels violates its Terms of Service, and in so-doing, has the right to remove videos, even if it involves digital money or cryptocurrency.”

Yet according to Rossow, the problem for both content creators and YouTube is identifying and discerning what is “commercially viable” and what is “educational. He explained:

“The crypto videos that were recently removed did not involve violent or political content, or content harmful to children. Even applying the FTC’s recent guidelines with respect to COPPA compliance didn’t seem to be in much disarray. This incident, I would say is isolated and gives all content creators a reason to panic simply due to YouTube’s ignorance.”

Updated: 4-3-2020

YouTube Bans Drive Cryptocurrency Fans To Decentralized Alternatives

In recent years, Google-owned video-sharing platform YouTube deleted and banned an array of cryptocurrency-related channels. The platform’s policy has driven cryptocurrency enthusiasts to look for decentralized alternatives to YouTube, which allow users to skirt censorship and even incentivize them with their own tokens.

In a YouTube video published on April 1, a channel dubbed Bitcoin for Beginners reviewed some of the decentralized YouTube alternatives. When choosing the most relevant platforms, the channel host took into account their usability, track records and user interface as major criteria.

Among the most popular decentralized video sharing platforms, the author noted LBRY, Bitchute, BitTube, PeerTube and Dtube.

LBRY

LBRY has a community-controlled blockchain protocol and enables users to mine library credits and send them as tips to various creators. However, it is not easy to find good content as the platform doesn’t lay out popular or trending videos before you start following a channel.

BitTube

Launched in 2018, BitTube allows users to overpass censorship thanks to InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). BitTube appears to be more entertaining as it offers livestreams, games, groups, and other options. Moreover, the platform has a reward system, wherein it rewards creators and viewers based on the time watched, and provides two privacy tokens.

Bitchute

Bitchute claims to use a peer-to-peer WebTorrent technology, however, the service still can delist content as it comes from their centralized servers. Also, most of the content is heavily political.

DTube

Another platform called DTube is built on IPFS and the STEEM blockchain and rewards its users with DTC tokens, which gives them an ad-free option. The last platform mentioned, Peertube, was launched in 2015 and is based on the WebTorrent technology. Peertube features P2P video sharing.

In a bid to stand up to Google for censoring cryptocurrency-related content across its platforms, the crypto community started a petition in early March. The so-called #ForkGoogle memorandum accuses the tech giant of waging “campaigns of suppression against Bitcoin and blockchain industry for years.”

#ForkGoogle calls for the crypto community to boycott Google’s services and migrate to alternative decentralized platforms like blogging platform Steemit and open-source browser Brave.

Upated: 4-30-2020

One Crypto Youtuber’s Banning Nightmare Still Not Over

Though YouTube has restored many banned crypto channels, CryptosRus remains sidelined with little information.

While many other accounts have seen reinstatement shortly following their bans in recent days, YouTube has still not brought the CrytptosRus channel back to life. It has now been three weeks since the channel creator’s original petition for reinstatement.

“My channel is still banned,” CryptosRus host, George, told Cointelegraph in an April 28 email, adding that YouTube has not updated him on the situation. “I appealed the decision three times now,” he said.

YouTube Bans For Days

The social video platform banned and flagged a large number of high profile crypto YouTube accounts in December 2019. Many accounts saw restoration in the days following, although a number of channels began reporting further bans early in 2020.

Tone Vays and Crypto Crow channel host, Jason Appleton, both saw their channels banned in April, although YouTube reinstated them within a couple of days.

CryptosRus Still Down For The Count

As many crypto YouTubers have gotten their channels back over the past several months, CryptosRus, a channel with a reported 64,000 subscribers, still remains out of commission.

“I’ve tweeted to Team YouTube, YouTube, YouTube Creators and even Susan Wojcicki multiple times,” George said. “I live chatted with agents more than a few times,” he noted.

“I even emailed Susan explaining my situation and apologized,” George said referring to YouTube’s CEO, adding, “Nothing has helped thus far.”

YouTube’s crypto banning tendencies still remain a mystery. Some speculate, however, that the bans are associated with the platform’s algorithm, Cointelegraph reported in a deep dive.

Updated: 5-6-2020

PewDiePie To Leave Blockchain Video Platform For Exclusive YouTube Deal

PewDiePie signed a deal to stream exclusively on YouTube after partnering with a blockchain streaming platform in 2019.

Amid its ongoing war with crypto, video giant YouTube has signed a new deal with one of the world’s biggest popular YouTubers. PewDiePie, the top-subscribed independent video maker on YouTube, now has to leave blockchain video platform Dlive to stream exclusively on YouTube.

YouTube officially announced the news on May 4, with PewDiePie claiming that the agreement was a “natural fit.”

In April 2019, PewDiePie had signed a partnership with blockchain-based content sharing platform Dlive. PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, said that he decided to stream via DLive because he was treated “like a real partner,” noting that Dlive has zero reward cuts.

Since then, PewDiePie’s DLive channel has gained over 820,000 followers, which is less than 1% of his YouTube channel exposure. On May 5, PewDiePie’s YouTube channel hit its 10-year anniversary, amassing more 25 billion total views and 104 million subscribers.

PewDiePie Outlined That The Decision Was Driven By His Live Streaming Focus In 2020:

“YouTube has been my home for over a decade now and live streaming on the platform feels like a natural fit as I continue to look for new ways to create content and interact with fans worldwide […] Live streaming is something I’m focusing a lot on in 2020 and beyond, so to be able to partner with YouTube and be at the forefront of new product features is special and exciting for the future.”

Cointelegraph reached out to Dlive and PewDiePie for additional queries and will update if we hear back.

PewDiePie Leaves DLive After The Platform Decided To Move To Tron

Originally built on the Lino blockchain, DLive reportedly agreed to migrate to the Tron blockchain in late 2019. On Dec. 30, major peer-to-peer file-sharing giant BitTorrent announced that DLive will be joining its ecosystem. At the time, BitTorrent CEO Justin Sun, who is also the founder of Tron, outlined that — following YouTube’s crypto-content ban — decentralized content platforms are the future.

On May 5, Cointelegraph reported on a new decentralized social media project that aims to enable IOTA (MIOTA) node owners to run their own social media sites or apps.

Updated: 5-21-2020

Crypto YouTuber Moves To Saipan To Escape ‘Totalitarian Tyranny’

CoinText founder Vin Armani moved to Saipan in April, fearing being labeled an “undesirable” in the continental U.S. and “disappeared.”

Vin Armani, the crypto YouTuber and former star of Showtime’s Gigolos, packed up his life and family and moved to a tiny Pacific island in April to ride out the pandemic and escape the “totalitarian tyranny” he predicted was about to occur.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, the founder of CoinText said he believed there was a very good chance of him “being disappeared” if he had stayed in California as he was “an undesirable” in the eyes of unnamed forces.

Like a number of prominent members of Crypto Twitter, Armani believes the authorities are using COVID-19 as a smokescreen to impose authoritarian measures.

As things started getting weird… I started to be very public on Twitter… started making predictions. All the predictions started coming true, like one after the other.

He took his wife and two children to Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands in early April. This was shortly before COVID-19 restrictions severely limited travel options to the area. The islands are a United States Commonwealth, making it far easier for citizens to access. Only about 52,000 people live on Saipan, but Armani was able to secure housing close to the beach thanks to a friend in the crypto community.

Citing his involvement with cryptocurrency as one of the factors determining the move, Armani tweeted that his choices were between “just [being] quiet and not [saying] anything,” or escaping to a territory with “no IRS or ICE jurisdiction. No national guard. No real military presence. Very laid back police (there’s next to no crime, no violent crime). No code enforcement dept.”

Leaving The U.S. Behind

The predictions that Armani referred to are scattered across a number of his tweets. On March 14, he tweeted about the government “rounding people up” and “isolating” them based on biological markers in order to “cleanse the nation of disease.”

“We did this not even 100 years ago folks. Y’all are really this blind that you’re going to walk into totalitarianism again?”

Most recently, Armani has been concerned about “Big Brother” tech in contact tracing technology as well as the government regulating the types of purchases that four million Americans are allowed to make with the stimulus prepaid debit cards.

You thought I was bullshitting when I kept telling you, early on, that they would be “rounding people up” in America?

You thought I was overreacting when I packed up my family and got on the last flight to an obscure island in the middle of the Pacific?

Have fun. 🤷 https://t.co/zExijipJCL pic.twitter.com/pCBipRjkK9
— Ⓥin Ⓐrmani (@vinarmani) May 3, 2020

Advocate Of Cryptocurrencies Since 2018

Staying active in the crypto world as a host of the Free Talk Live radio program, Armani still sees the financial crisis as “an opportunity for a parallel economy.”

“There is no financial savior,” he said, “You’re going to start to see informal economies pop up and the natural choice for them is going to be Bitcoin… you’re going to see that on a massive scale.”

Updated: 5-28-2020

Will Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Help Against Crypto YouTube Bans?

U.S. President Trump’s new executive order touches on media censorship, something crypto YouTubers know all too well.

Those in the know expect President Trump to sign a fresh executive order today, imposing greater accountability on social media providers.

The order draft, labeled at press time as “Preventing Online Censorship,” brings further clarity to social media industry boundaries, ABC News said on May 28.

“This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!” Trump tweeted on the morning of May 28.

The Order Follows Twitter Fact Checking Efforts

Social media powerhouse Twitter recently flagged certain tweets with a fact-check tag. The platform flagged some of Trump’s posts about voting and ballots, pinning a noted under the tweet. The note stated, “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” in blue, complete with an exclamation point, CNBC reporting showed.

Trump Said In A Following Tweet:

“Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election. They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post.”

Crypto YouTubers Hit In Recent Months

Related to the whole social media scene, many crypto YouTubers have seen their channels banned or flagged over the last six months. December 2019 showed a number of top crypto YouTuber bans and strikes, which affected influencers such as Ivan on Tech and Chris Dunn. Spring 2020 saw another censorship wave, this time including trader Tone Vays.

Many crypto YouTubers saw their accounts restored following their troubles, although the restoration periods varied. YouTube sidelined the CryptosRus channel for weeks, even after multiple appeals. A brief scan of the platform indicates his channel is still down as of press time.

Current guidelines give internet entities broad liability immunity, the ABC article detailed. The executive order aims to give that immunity parameters, preventing overarching censorship. The draft also includes several other aspects, such as the First Amendment’s place on the web.

“In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick the speech that Americans may access and convey online,” the president said, as quoted by ABC.

Multiple projects in the blockchain space have looked into creating censorship-resistant social media, potentially solving the issue.

Updated: 6-15-2020

YouTube Bans Bitcoin.com’s Account For ‘Basically No Reason’, Roger Ver Says

YouTube seems to continue its shadow crackdown on cryptocurrency coverage, as it shuts down the official channel of Roger Ver’s Bitcoin.com.

UPDATE: Bitcoin.com’s account has now been unsuspended and can be accessed. According to YouTube, the channel was “terminated in error.”

YouTube has shut down the official channel of cryptocurrency news-focused website Bitcoin.com for “a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.”

As Bitcoin.com executive chairman Roger Ver told Cointelegraph, YouTube notified them about the ban around 2:17AM EST June 13. The account had over 40 thousand subscribers at the time it was suspended.

Bitcoin.com then sent an appeal to YouTube within “a few hours”. Two days later, at 8:59 AM EST June 15, Youtube notified Bitcoin.com that their channel had been unterminated.

However, as Ver told Cointelegraph, “less than 30 minutes later someone falsely reported our channel for a copyright claim for a video that has been online more than three years”. According to a screenshot shared by Ver, the video in question was titled “The Slow Criminalization of Peer-to-Peer Transfers”, while the claim was failed by ONErpm.

Ver Added That The Incident Has Prompted Bitcoin.Com To Turn To Alternative Platforms:

“This is an ongoing headache to deal with, and makes us even more eager to support censorship resistant platforms like memo.cash, and lbry.tv.”

According to a statement Bitcoin.com executive chairman Roger Ver uploaded to Reddit earlier today, the account was terminated for “basically no reason”. He went on to suggest that it could have been reported by Bitcoin (BTC) maximalists (Verr has been a vocal proponent of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), criticizing Bitcoin for becoming “a store of value”):

“I suspect probably a bunch of these Bitcoin Core anti-competition maximalists falsely reported the video saying ‘It’s a Bit[coin] Cash scam!’ or some nonsense like that.”

Ver added that, regardless of whether the YouTube account will be reinstated, it “seems like the right time to start exploring other options”, namely lbry.tv, Dtube and BitChute. He noted that he still needs to learn more about them, asking the audience to weigh in and suggest viable alternatives.

The Bitcoin.com founder also stressed that there are “tons” of giveaway scams on YouTube featuring fake celebrity endorsement from Elon Musk and others, suggesting that the platform has been inefficient in tackling fraud.

YouTube’s Shadow War On Crypto

YouTube’s unofficial war on crypto has been intensifying as many crypto YouTubers, including Ivan on Tech, Chris Dunn and Tone Vays, have seen their channels suspended or flagged over the last six months.

Last month, Cointelegraph also experienced YouTube’s strange attitude towards cryptocurrency coverage, as the platform suddenly pulled the plug on our seven-hour Bitcoin Halving livestream.

Cointelegraph reached out to YouTube for additional comments, but received no reply as of press time. This article will be updated, should a response come in.

Updated: 8-3-2020

YouTube Bans Crypto Channel For ‘Encouraging Illegal Activities’

Crypto channel Altcoin Daily run by brothers Aaron and Austin Arnold was reinstated by YouTube after more than two days offline.

Another cryptocurrency-related YouTube channel appears to have fallen afoul of the platform’s community policies.

According to a July 31 tweet from crypto community members and brothers Aaron and Austin Arnold, their Altcoin Daily channel with 214,000 subscribers was terminated by YouTube for “encouraging illegal activities.”

“We are a news/opinion channel,” the two said on Twitter. “We have never promoted anything illegal. Appeal has been submitted.”

The brothers reached out to Altcoin Daily’s 27,700 Twitter followers urging them to contact YouTube and request reinstatement, using hashtags including #FreeAltcoinDaily.

After more than two days in which the channel content was completely inaccessible to subscribers, Altcoin Daily reported on August 3 that the YouTube had reversed the ban.

Targeting Crypto Channels

YouTube aggressively deleted videos with content related to cryptocurrency in December 2019. Channels with tens of thousands of subscribers or more including Chris Dunn’s had videos removed, while Crypto Beadles Robert Beadles’ page was removed entirely. YouTube referred to one of these bans as “an error” during the review process.

In June, the platform shut down the official channel of cryptocurrency news-focused website Bitcoin.com for “a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.” After an appeal, the channel with all 40,000 subscribers was restored two days later. Other crypto content creators had their channels reinstated after 24 hours offline, including Tone Vays and BTC Sessions, a blockchain-based YouTube channel.

Cointelegraph has had similar experiences regarding YouTube’s strange attitude towards cryptocurrency. The platform suddenly pulled the plug on our Bitcoin Halving livestream in May, and cut the livestream coverage on the recent Twitter hack short.

Updated: 9-7-2020

Youtube Pulls The Plug On Another Crypto Livestream

YouTube Created A Generation of Young Stars Then Uses It's Algorithms Against Them

The platform has cut off crypto-related videos before.

Crypto YouTuber Sunny Decree recently saw his livestream cut short by YouTube, with the platform stating the video had violated its ‘harmful and dangerous policy.’

According to a Sept. 5 tweet from Sunny Decree, the video-sharing platform halted his most recent livestream on his English language channel — based in Switzerland, the content creator also records in German — and warned him a second offense would result in a one-week suspension of service for livestreaming, uploading, and posting.

Decree’s channel has been targeted by YouTube before. In December 2019, the platform began aggressively deleting videos with crypto-related content. High-profile channels, including Decree’s — whose channel has more than 123,000 subscribers — had videos removed without explanation. YouTube later called the move an “error” and restored many of the videos.

However, the platform has continued to target a number of crypto-related channels, seemingly in response to the fake ‘crypto giveaway’ scam videos that are periodically posted.

In June, the platform shut down the official channel of cryptocurrency news-focused website Bitcoin.com for “a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.” After an appeal, the channel and all 40,000 subscribers was restored two days later.

Cointelegraph has had similar experiences regarding YouTube’s strange attitude towards cryptocurrency. The platform suddenly pulled the plug on Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Halving livestream in May and cut the July 15 livestream coverage on the infamous Twitter hack short.

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