YouTube Suspending And Terminating Accounts – A Few Thoughts

Update: More (recent) on the story here.

This weekend, Problogger got a lot of attention for having his YouTube Account suspended “with no warning and no explanation of why.” The story has a happy ending as his site came back up about 12 hours after he posted the above linked article but … scary none the less.

Read into the article and you’ll find the issue was probably a video with the title of “Secrets of Making Money Online.”

David Jenyns had a similar problem happen this weekend as he reports at his blog.

His second strike was “How To Make Money Online – 80/20 Rule.”

Seeing a trend here?

YouTube has two specific pages about content you can’t/can’t put online in her “Terms of Service” and “Community Guidelines.” I read nothing in these pages that says you can’t put (your own) commercial content online at YouTube – please let me know if you have seen anything else by YouTube regarding this topic.

Again, if you can find anything published from YouTube in what you can and can’t do commercially (I keep hearing of documents, I just can’t find them), please let me know.

So, what do we do with this news?

Some will point to the dirty Internet marketers who are only interested in making money online and say something along the lines of they get what they deserve. I’m not in that camp. I’ll question until the cows come home how effective some of these videos are but … Problogger is a key figure in this space (and a nice guy) and when he does a video on a topic fascinating to me, I’m interested. And it’s hardly a “no no” topic in either the community or terms of service guidelines.

Some will say YouTube is just a platform and they need to be 100% hands off. This is a topic that deserves a book (let along a post) of her own but let’s face it, they have to, at the very least, respond to DMCA takedown requests.

YouTube is becoming more and more important. Their desire is to be a partner with the big content producers (they don’t just call it the “Partner Program” for branding purposes) and make cool things happen. I’d recommend playing their game.

It’s more than a “free” video hosting platform. Community interaction is more than getting someone to make a background for your channel page. If you’re gonna play with YouTube, do more than just sign up for an account and put a few keywords on your channel page. Consider letting them put ads on a video or two (there is lousy money in it – it’s about the relationship) and start treating her like the social network that she is. Interact with your audience at YouTube and you’ll be surprised of the benefit that will come from it. Once YouTube realizes she’s more to you than cheap hosting, you’ll be pleased at what happens.

I’ve been involved with dozens (and then some) of YouTube accounts and have only seen one shut down. She directly went against something in the terms and didn’t have this history to appear as anything else other than someone trying to abuse the system. I won’t say she ‘got what she deserved’ but I can totally understand YouTube’s take on that one.

Your thoughts?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Anonymous

    Gonna argue with you here. YouTube is the default video platform. To not be there is a really bad idea. Yes, things will niche out (look at what we’re doing with http://www.emarketingvids.com) but everyone will have (FOD included) their place at YouTube.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed.

  • Anonymous

    Yup.

  • Anonymous

    Answered elsewhere. I really do hope we can make this happen – just the two of us, or the other’s you’ve invited into the conversation.

  • Anonymous

    I think the problem is people looking for a ‘free host.” Don’t get me wrong, I understand the value and have used YouTube as the same – but I think YouTube really wants friends and partners who are building on the conversation and adding to their social element.

    Internal at YouTube they say “subscription is the currency of YouTube.” If you use YT to generate subscribers for them, I think they’re gonna give you a lot more slack than those who just use it for free hosting.

    BTW, read Vimeos Ts&Cs on this stuff. It should scare you to death.

  • Anonymous

    How many (approx) subscribers, friends, comments did you have at your channel? Did you do anything to customize it?

  • Anonymous

    This is really helpful. Were the trailers for the planetarium shows copyrighted material by any chance?

  • Anonymous

    Actions like this could really play into other video hosts hands like Vimeo. how much traffic would youtube loose if the pro’s switched there content to Vimeo or another.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dougandjudykramer Doug Kramer

    I think the big guys (google, YT) are feeling the mess and the chaos.  Is the hardline, no-tolerance approach a stress/panic reaction?  Or are they cleaning house, sorting wheat from chaff so to speak?  How about the wheat that’s rashly tossed out?  Facebook seems to have a better handle on the mess, maybe learning from some mistakes.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/dougandjudykramer Doug Kramer

    Was there not some element of the videos in question having been flagged as spam by YT users/viewers?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dougandjudykramer Doug Kramer

    Was there not some element of the videos in question having been flagged as spam by YT users/viewers?

  • http://twitter.com/ExtraLunchMoney Extra Lunch Money

    I was in this same wave of mass YouTube account killings. It seems like YouTube created quite the blood bath. While I understand many of the accounts were probably just producing spam and justified being terminated I’m still scratching my head to as why our account was terminated. We didn’t violate their terms as we read them. We haven’t been able to get a response from anyone…or should I say I haven’t found a way to contact anyone over there at YouTube to try to get some feedback.

    Our sad little saga i’ve documented here:
    http://elmaveshow.com/youtube-terminates-our-account-hates-sex-and-hates-freedom/

    Hopefully things turn around like these other guys…

  • Anonymous

    honestly, youtube doesn’t care about people using them for free hosting – and makes no money with people using them for free hosting. if that’s the effect, they’ve lost lots of dead weight.

    but i think it is more than that ;-)

  • Anonymous

    facebook is doing so well because they’ve learned from the mistakes of others.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t know for sure.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing this.

  • Mus3um

    Absolutely!    We know the rules.  But again… nothing explained what our violation was….  and if it was indeed just one video…why terminate our entire channel??? 

  • Pingback: YouTube Accounts Termination Update – What We May Have Learned

  • Anonymous

    agreed – just trying to put all of the pieces in this puzzle together

  • Zane Miller

    I do think you bring up a VERY good point in your updated post too.  I truly didn’t intend to make it sound like a conspiracy theory though.  Thank you for this insight.  I am getting A LOT of questions about all this from my clients.

  • Zane

    See, I don’t get why they would ban a non-profit company.  YouTube LOVES non-profits.  In fact non-profits are the only way you can use an annotation to link OUTSIDE of YouTube….

    This video explains how and why it works.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK38BWy-O9E

    They have very specific tools JUST for non-profits.  I want that feature more than anything in the world.

  • Zane

    Okay.  It will be our little secret.

  • Zane

    Well said.  And I agree.  If you DON’T have a YT account now you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

    But do you feel that YouTube and Google will be able to handle the bandwidth load 5 – 10 years from now?  YouTube isn’t that old.  If anything it’s only going to get bigger.

    Look at the difference between the #1 most viral video in 2008, and the most viral video in 2011.

    2008 – Evolution of Dance: 56 million views

    2011 -  Justin Beiber, Baby: Well over 500 million views

    My point was merely that at some point YouTube will get more and more saturated and that people will start moving away from YouTube more and more as time passes, much like people began to move away from Google when social media showed up on the scene.

  • Anonymous

    Which point was the good one?

  • Jeff Herring

    Paul – while it’s good to know I was not the only one, it’s still stinks that I was shut down for reasons I can’t fathom at all, as I teach in every one of my 125+ videos…

    Any recourse?

    Thanks

    ~ Jeff

  • Anonymous

    That one is AWESOME. Thanks for sharing that with me.

  • Anonymous

    Nope, YouTube has the backing to stick around. Too important. Google won’t let it die. I’ll bet a lot of $$ on that one.

  • Anonymous

    How recent did it happen? Any email at all from YouTube? Any recent videos that could even possibly be considered spammy? Let me know and we’ll work this out.

    P

  • Zane

    Simply that it isn’t as dire as a conspiracy like some make it out to be.

  • Zane

    Isn’t it?  I am so jealous though. 

    Can you imaging what you could do if you had that kind of dynamic control within a YouTube video?!  Not to mention if you used it in conjunction with all of the other crazy awesome tools they keep coming out with.

  • Jeff Herring

    Hi Paul!

    Thanks for following this story, and before I answer your questions, I want to suggest that you and I do an interview on this subject and invite folks – you game?

    I first heard about this on Saturday afternoon when I went to check on my views and  found image one below – the funny thing is, the first time I saw it, it was for Community Guidelines, and now they have added Copyright Infringement – which you know, of course, I do not do.

    Image two is the email I received Sat aft and my response

    Image 3 is their response to me late Tues nite

    My first violation and video taken down was on 7/24/09 for “Endless Waves of Prospects, Publicity & Profits”- funny thing is, it was flagged by Maritza’s ex-husband, who, altho they divorced years ago, was not happy with her moving to ATL, we have since become friends (he is our nutrition advisor) and he is contacting YouTube for us – plus, it was well over 6 months ago, and was strike one of two, where I thought you got 3

    My second violation and video taken down was on 6/18/11 for “Article Marketing and Content Creation – 7 Tips Content = Small Space – Big Info”- now I have read all of the guidelines and watched this video many times and do not see the violation

    I find of particular interest this line from YouTube – “Your account has now been terminated. Please be aware that you are prohibited from accessing, possessing or

    creating any other YouTube accounts.”

    Does this mean we cannot learn from alleged mistakes and try again?

    I’m working on a blog post ala ProBlogg – are you aware of how to file an appeal?

    Thanks again for your efforts, and let’s do a public interview about this…

    ~ Jeff

  • Anonymous

    Yup

  • Anonymous

    Agreed

  • Anonymous

    Would love to do an interview.

    And in terms of “flagging” – I have a gut feeling that is the cause of a lot of this.

  • Jeff Herring

    let’s set it up – contact me at thejeffherring@gmail.com

  • Anonymous

    will do