The YouTube Purge has begun. YouTube has retroactively changed its rules on what counts as “harassment” on its platform. What this means is that even if your videos and comments do NOT violate their policies, if you demonstrate a “pattern of behavior” of repeatedly attacking other content creators, individuals or public officials you will lose your ad partnered account or even your entire channel.
“Consequences for a pattern of harassing behavior
Something we heard from our creators is that harassment sometimes takes the shape of a pattern of repeated behavior across multiple videos or comments, even if any individual video doesn’t cross our policy line. To address this, we’re tightening our policies for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) to get even tougher on those who engage in harassing behavior and to ensure we reward only trusted creators. Channels that repeatedly brush up against our harassment policy will be suspended from YPP, eliminating their ability to make money on YouTube. We may also remove content from channels if they repeatedly harass someone. If this behavior continues, we’ll take more severe action including issuing strikes or terminating a channel altogether.”
[link to youtube.googleblog.com (secure)]
So basically from now on I can’t risk making videos on YouTube that debunk a particular person, and I may even lose my account for existing debunking videos that do not break any rules. From now on I will not mention anyone else’s channel by name when I make a debunking video, I will only address the subject without mentioning who said it or who is promoting it. They even talk about banning harassment of “public figures” in the new rules. I can see this being the pretext to ban any political speech they do not like if it criticizes political figures they want to protect, while they will turn a blind eye to attacks on political figures they disagree with. I have little doubt the timing of this in the run up to the 2020 election is not just a coincidence.
I thought a lot of the warning calls about a YouTube Purge starting this month were just fear mongering, but it’s already begun with old and popular videos of YouTubers criticizing other YouTubers being taken down. These videos were not just uploaded after this announcement was made, some specific examples are given in this video which relate to old videos that have been on YouTube for a while now.
Heads up, if you criticize anyone on a regular basis on YouTube your entire channel is now at risk of deletion.