YouTube will probably ban my account… here’s why

Who I Am

For those just finding this YouTube post, you might wonder who I am.  I’ve been in the QA industry with regards to software companies for the past 14 years.  I’m a blogger who tries to give back to the Tech community in the form of online help, video tutorials and blogs pertaining to subjects about tech topics:

  • Software QA
  • Development (front end, back end)
  • Security

What’s going on with YouTube

I have many videos and tutorials hosted on my youtube account:

On June 17, 2017, YouTube sent me an email informing me that one of my sub-channels (not my main account linked above, but a sub channel) was in violation of their Community Guidelines.  They immediately shut down the site, deleting all its content – without warning.

YouTube Suspended Account Email
First e-mail from YouTube about suspending a channel I own.

Minecraftnoob was a channel I made for my son and I.  We had a few videos of playing games in Minecraft. It’s a shame I didn’t keep a backup because they are now gone.

I filed an appeal, asking for details on:

  • What content specifically violated which terms?
  • What day / time was it posted?
  • What IP address is associated with it?

I got a response from the appeal – it was automated and said the appeal was denied and gave me the same canned response as above. SAME exact wording – indicating it was also an automated process.

YouTube LLC denies appeal

I decided to let my channel go at this point. It was a shame I lost some videos that my son and I made together, but they were only a couple. I figured best to move on.

YouTube suspends a 2nd Channel

On June 24, 2017, I received a notice that a second channel of mine was also suspended!  This one was again completely innocent – it was a channel all about Hiking.

I got the same automated email.  I appealed and got the same automated response.  In each case I asked for the same 3 things: a) for YT to show the offending content to me b) for YT to give me the time/date the content occurred and c) for YT to show me the IP.

To date, these questions have NOT been answered.

My own Evidence

After the 2nd account got shut down, I went into my other channels and began screenshotting all (or lack) of content.  My worry is that sooner or later they would kill the primary channel I use for this blog.

YouTube suspends a 3rd Channel

Later the same day, a 3rd channel of mine (about artwork) was suspended and I was given the same vague email and the appeal was denied with the same vague response.  All from bots.

This third account I had screenshot the content areas and noticed that it had no content!  There’s nothing offending at all!  All I had in that account was one reply I made to a comment on one of my videos!

YouTube Support == Bots

I also tried reaching out to YouTube support, who each in turn sent me the same canned, bot like responses.

YouTube Legal == Bots

I then tried to reach out to the legal team at YouTube, via FAX and E-mail.  I thought surely the legal teams have to have real people responding…. but check out the response I got from the legal team:

One of their emails was a reference to my fax. Clearly, I’m asking the same question over and over and they respond with the same canned responses:

YouTube LLC, Legal Response
YouTube LLC, Legal Response

Where this is Going – My Fear

My main concern is that this isn’t going to stop at these accounts.  Ultimately they will remove my main account.  IF that happens I’ll be sad in deed. I downloaded all my videos and am in the process of hosting them elsewhere.

It’s a shame because I really like YouTube, but their lack of support is insane. Everything is automated.

My hunch is that YouTube changed an automated algorythm that checks for spam/fraud. Somehow one of my channels fell into this and it began crunching away, finding other channels and shutting them down.  I can’t tell anyone at YouTube – because they’re all bots.  Even the fax machine is a bot.

Stay tuned for the future of the videos on SDET.US.