Why does YouTube prohibit and unban cryptocurrency channels?
On Sunday, YouTube, the online video sharing and social media platform, suspended many crypto and Web3 channels that created instructive content. The bans came without warning or explanation, leaving the crypto community perplexed.
To educate the public about digital assets, many content makers and cryptocurrency exchanges use social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. These platforms are the most convenient approach for such businesses to communicate with their target audiences.
Bankless, a popular crypto channel that provides Ethereum-based programming, was one of the banned channels. It said to its over two lakh followers on Twitter, "The YouTube account for Bankless has been 'terminated.' There was no forewarning. There was no notification. There's no justification. 150,000 subs. 10,000 hours of programming" The tweet was accompanied by a picture that replaced the word 'Bankless' with the word 'Banned.' Fortunately, YouTube restored the channel some hours later after a series of tweets from Bankless.
Why did YouTube ban cryptocurrency accounts?
As with other social media network, producers must follow their privacy policies and community guidelines while publishing video on YouTube. If the producers do not respect the restrictions, social media sites may take drastic measures, such as temporary bans and content removal.
It's unclear how educational content on crypto or Web3 could have violated YouTube's terms of service. Though YouTube did not respond to Bankless's post with an official statement or explanation, it did respond to his tweet, alerting him that the account had been restored and that the ban had been a mistake.
"We're sorry this happened, but the @BanklessHQ channel is back up. Thanks for bearing with us on the other channels you indicated in your earlier tweet — DMing you with more," the tweet said.
Ryan Adams, the CEO of Bankless, responded by saying that YouTube had "clearly made a mistake" by removing the channel. Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, was also asked to the Bankless show to explain why "crypto is being targeted" and to discuss "web3 and NFTs."
However, several media outlets have speculated that the restriction is the result of YouTube's enhanced content filtering methods implemented during the COVID-19 controversy. In March 2020, the online video sharing service warned that video deletions would increase for its creators.
"Automated algorithms will begin eliminating some content without human review," the company wrote in a blog, "so we can continue to act rapidly to remove violative information and preserve our ecosystem while we have workplace protections in place."
It added that in order to judge such scenarios, their system relies on both technology and humans. During the COVID-19 incident, however, YouTube increased its dependence on technology to assist human reviewers in order to prevent misinformation. As a result, it's possible that YouTube's machine learning algorithm is to responsible for the removal of cryptocurrency accounts and content.
Certainly not. In the past, YouTube's algorithm has taken similar action against other channels, removing them without reason and then restoring them later, again without explanation. It's a trend that started in 2019, when a few crypto channels were shut down without warning or explanation.
Bankless was one of the most popular banned channels in the recent wave of takedowns, having over 1.5 lakh subscribers; nevertheless, Gabriel Haines and Optimism Collective were also taken down.
Lark Davis, a renowned crypto YouTuber, had 11 of his videos taken down in April 2020. On Sunday, one of his videos, an interview, was also taken down.
He told CoinTelegraph that YouTube removes content if they violate community guidelines. "There is certainly something in my films that prompts machine learning algorithms to remove the content," he stated, even though his content does not violate community guidelines.