Howdy friends! So, over this past week our YouTube channel got flip turned upside down and threw me off on my uploading schedule. The channel was hit with a content strike which is different from a copyright materials slap on the wrist. With the content strike, one of our videos (from over a thousand videos back) was hit with a flagged content notice which is considered a content strike. I was able to view the video which was hit with a strike BUT the notice does NOT tell you where the actual strike takes place. It is just a generic notice and tells you that:
YouTube cares about our users’ safety so we have strict policies against any provocative content featuring minors. Based on this set of policies, we have removed your video.
Now after reading this generic email over a few times, I watched the video once more with this specific set of policies in mind. NOTHING in the video seemed fit this set of policies that we had seemingly broken, so I appealed the decision. After waiting around 36 hours for a decision, I received yet another generic email which stated that:
Thank you for submitting your video appeal to YouTube.
After further review of the content, we’ve determined that your video does violate our Community Guidelines and have upheld our original decision. We appreciate your understanding.
— The YouTube Team
I was frustrated as you can imagine. I have created and uploaded over 2500 videos on YouTube and not once has my channel been hit with a strike… and to top that off a strike dealing with “provocative content featuring minors”.
Our family content is no more offensive than any other family content on YouTube. Families like The Shaytards, The Daily Bumps, Clintus, The Bevos, Katie and Cullen etc.. are all putting content on YouTube, that for us as a smaller creator (in the realms of YouTube) have to ultimately compete with due to the algorithms that YouTube has in place for users to find us. Getting flagged for a false strike is simply unfair.
I am a father of two boys that mean the world to me and I enjoy sharing our journey through life with the world. This was definitely a low point in my YouTube adventures thus far. The troubling thing about it is that this sort of thing happens way more often than it should for creators on YouTube. I wanted to post this as a way of venting but also as a way to brainstorm on ways YouTube could refine its policy and make the system work better for all.
Here are some general thoughts and ideas I have come up with for making the YouTube policy work better for all: all of this assumes the content is not breaking any laws.
- If someone is falsely flagging content, remove that individual from the system (by either not allowing them to flag content or delete the abuser of the system outright).
- An actual person to acknowledge the appeal process to. Supposedly, this process of appealing actually goes to an individual to watch and ensure that the strike was imposed properly to begin with. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is flawed, mainly due to the fact I watched the content that was flagged with an eye on the policy I had supposedly broken and not once did the content come close to breaking the policy.
- The person who is watching the appeal should need to show proof of where the infringement occurs (i.e. a screenshot, timestamp or audio proof). Like I said on the last point, I watched this video multiple times to find where the occurrence of “provocative content” might have occurred and found absolutely zero occurrences of it.
- On the two previous point, there is no REPLY allowed once this process is completed. The Strike stands and there is no conversation to be had at that point. The End, Done, Complete.
- On a first strike occurrence, allow the content owner to download their content before removing it entirely from the YouTube system. My video is now gone forever and I have no way of looking back to that piece of content since YouTube removes it completely. As a content owner, which all YouTube creators are, I should have the right to download my own content before it is removed from YouTube. This is as simple as a 30 day notice with the video being in a non public state so that the creator can download their personal content.
These are just a few things that could be done to make the process feel a bit more just. I don’t want this post to be a pity party or an outright rant. I want this post to be a call to other YouTube Creators to put a voice to an unjust policy enforcement and to help create a better environment for Creators to succeed on YouTube. I want the YouTube community to push for equal treatment of their favorite Creators across the board and not allow certain YouTube Creators different freedoms versus other because they are simply larger at the current moment. Lets find those diamonds in the rough and make sure they do not get left behind.
Love you guys and gals,
Erik (Now go Subscribe to my YouTube channel LOL)