A full recap of YouTube's Christmas 'War on Crypto'

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Ibis
Dec 26, 2019

Beginning on Tuesday, a number of popular crypto Youtubers reported that some - or all - of their videos were being deleted and their channels flagged with little to no explanation from the platform.


The story reached critical mass on crypto social media today, after a number of reddit threads and a growing list of industry pundits sounded off on the issue:

The youtube drama has been the biggest topic of discussion throughout the cryptoverse, as obvious by our list of top 10 emerging words on crypto social media today:

The mentions of ‘youtube’, ‘content’ and ‘censorship’ skyrocketed on industry social media channels, with multiple dedicated threads on crypto-centered subreddits like r/bitcoin, r/cryptocurrency and r/ethtrader:

Although most users were sympathetic to the issue, the sentiment wasn’t exactly unanimous.


Since Youtube didn’t communicate its reasons for the crackdown with any of the affected channels, it wasn’t long before conspiracy theories started flying about.


Since one of the affected channels was based in Australia, some saw the ‘neighboring’ China as the likely culprit:

...while others believed the crackdown to be an ‘inside job’:

A number of users believe Youtube sees crypto as an existential threat, and are desperate to keep the fiat system afloat by any means necessary, including censorship:

Finally, some think Youtube is mainly be targeting channels that dabbled in paid and possibly undisclosed token promotions:

...or those whose videos focus primarily on which coins to buy and when:

While figuring out all the why and wherefore, a parallel debate sprung up on which of the affected channels were and were not deserving of Youtube maltreatment:

Warranted or not, removing content without prior notice reeks of censorship. Unsurprisingly, many advised the affected channels to follow the crypto tenets and move their content to a decentralized video platform:

Or proposed an, ahem, alternative centralized solution:

In the past few hours, YouTube finally responded to the growing outcry over the recent treatment of crypto channels, acknowledging the reason behind the crackdown.


The reason? Brain fart.


“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call.” said the company spokesperson. “When it's brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. We also offer uploaders the ability to appeal removals and we will re-review the content,”


The billion dollar company issued similar statements during their previous instances of ‘oopsie’ content crackdowns.


Soo, water under the bridge? Not quite. As several outlets and pundits report, some of the affected channels have yet to see their videos brought back:

Many channels, however, seem to have been fully rehabilitated:

Still, many questions remain unanswered. What exactly triggered Youtube's content alarms? Are there any specific issues with crypto-related content on the platform that video creators should be aware of - and work to resolve?


Given the company's (mis)handling of previous content purges, we're unlikely to get any clear answers here. One thing's for sure, though - if Youtube ever decides to actually declare war on crypto, be certain that it will - somehow - be good for bitcoin:

Profile picture
Ibis
Dec 26, 2019