YouTube has restored hundreds of videos from dozens of channels that focus on crypotcurrency after they were removed earlier in the week. YouTubers like Chris Dunn report that their videos were flagged by YouTube for “harmful or dangerous content” and “sale of regulated goods.” YouTube now says that the deletions were a mistake.
“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call,” a YouTube spokesperson told Gizmodo via email. “When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. We also offer uploaders the ability to appeal removals and we will re-review the content.”
At least 35 cryptocurrency channels had videos affected, including ChrisDunnTV, Nugget News, Crypto Tips, and BTC Sessions, though the largest like CoinTelegraph and CNBC seemed to have been spared, according to Forbes.
YouTube told Gizmodo that it has reinstated all crypto videos that were affected and has removed any penalty to their channels. But representatives from the social video company, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, did not answer follow up questions about whether the videos were flagged automatically or whether it was human error. YouTube also didn’t answer questions about the exact number of channels that had been caught up in the ban.
Some cryptocurrency YouTubers have vowed to boycott the company, but it’s not clear whether they’ll follow through since YouTube has backtracked and admitted a mistake.
As CoinDesk notes, some cryptocurrency channels have felt targeted lately and seem particularly concerned by a December 10 update to YouTube’s terms of service.
“YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable,” the latest terms of service read.
To be clear, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are a volatile investment that any rational person would characterise as potentially “harmful and dangerous.” But that doesn’t mean cryptocurrency nerds shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy their dumb hobby on YouTube if they want. Banning Bitcoin videos would be like banning stamp collecting videos. Except the stamps, in this case, are completely invisible and made for suckers.