Making Sense of Recent YouTube Bans on Cannabis Channels
May 19, 2018 News
In a shocking development, owners of cannabis channels on YouTube have been rocked this week by the massive termination of their channels without any prior warning. Read on and discover what this latest development means for all those who had devoted themselves to sharing content about cannabis on YouTube for many years.
Sad news: our Pot TV account on YouTube was deleted – and it’s happening to many fellow cannabis activists & educators.
Marc Emery started Pot TV in 2000 with funding from Emery Direct Seeds. It was one of the first internet video sites *ever*. Wish we had funds for media today!
— Jodie Emery (@JodieEmery) April 14, 2018
Why the YouTube Terminations Took Place
The apparent reason (the reason given at the moment) why YouTube took drastic action against many cannabis channels is that those channels were found to be in violation of one or more of the rules of YouTube. Particular mention was made of the strikes those channels accumulated within a short time. Strikes are a form of sanction imposed when content is found to contravene an existing rule, such as the rule against content which violates the law. Three strikes in as many months results in a suspension or termination of a YouTube channel.
What is hard to understand is why the same content which has been live for years has all of a sudden attracted strikes in large numbers (Crazy Ginger Kid started by Philip Mardoff got strikes in double digits within a few weeks). Several channel proprietors also report a similar trend preceding the termination of their channels. Could there be another reason for the drastic measures?
There is a War on Cannabis.
But there’s also a War on Cannabis Truth — because #ReeferMadness & criminalization depend on lies & misinformation.
YouTube’s deletion of dozens of the oldest & most prolific cannabis-related accounts is another example of #CannabisTruth censorship.
— Jodie Emery (@JodieEmery) April 15, 2018
Advertisers Push for Moderation of Content
Everyone who has followed trends in the media knows how much power advertisers wield regarding the content carried by those media houses or platforms. The same influence (good or bad) could also be at play in this case.
For long, murmurs have been growing about some form of control being exercised over what is uploaded to YouTube. The advertisers upon whom YouTube depends for its revenues wanted a platform which would not water down their brands. Adverts run while content is playing on YouTube. It therefore follows that picky brands will take exception to the free reign given to content creators on the YouTube platform.
Those days of content creators being given carte blanche now seem to be coming to an end as YouTube takes steps to weed out any content which is controversial in any way. Take the case of the Military Arms Channel which was taken down in the aftermath of the mass shootings which rocked North America months ago.
Indeed, YouTube is now walking the talk of cleaning up its act following the creation of robots and the recruitment of massive numbers of moderators to keep an eye on what is posted.
Yep, started back in January. It started effecting random big channels, multiple strikes overnight which were unsuspend immediately, they were told just a "glitch". I think they are sneakly using this Glitch to remove unwanted communitys. gun, alt media, cartoon channels hit too
— Dr. Autoflower (@drautoflower) April 14, 2018
What This Means & What To Do
Change is here. How generators of cannabis content react can take several forms, singly or collectively.
For starters, it is imperative to get that content stored in a way which will prevent permanent loss should another wave make landfall. Any backup method, such as the cloud, will work at this point. This measure is necessary given the “blood”, sweat, time and money which are invested in developing that content.
Another measure that channel owners can take involves appealing to the sense of fairness of YouTube. Demand for an explanation for the termination if the platform cannot honor your appeal and reinstate your channel. If that fails, the “stick” portion of the “carrot and stick approach” can be activated by going to court the way that PragerU did last year.
Alternatively, you can hit the road and take your content to another host. TheWeedTube and other platforms may provide a new home to those who see that the games with YouTube aren’t going to end very soon. Finding another home can offer peace of mind, at least for a while.
Youtube Has Changed, And It’s Likely Not Going Back
As you can see from the discussion above, no single explanation of what is happening can claim to be more accurate than another.
What you should not doubt is the new dawn at YouTube.
Stay if you like what is happening.
Weigh your options if you are getting sleepless nights about the new developments.
The ball, as they say, is in your court.
Will you continue to use Youtube or are you switching platforms? Please leave a comment below and let us know what your thoughts are on this development.
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