I have a few more things to discuss now that I’ve had a chance to cool off.
One thing that remained unclear in my last post is why YouTube terminated the channel. The last messages I got from them were strong but indicated the channel would remain open and the clips available. First off, I want to discuss my observations about how YouTube responds to flagged clips, in order of severity:
1. In some cases, I imagine the flags are ignored. I sometimes got comments saying the content was flagged, with no changes noted.
2. I would sometimes see a popular clip suddenly vanish from most related/featured video lists and drop in daily views. The video still had advertising and wasn’t marked as inappropriate for some viewers, but was somehow put on a lower profile. I assumed that this might have been a low-level response to a flagging. Clips would sometimes recover from these drops and regain popularity, but usually not.
3. Marking as inappropriate for some views and advertising removed. Viewers had to be logged in and declared over 18 to see it after that, assuming they could find it after it was dropped from most related/featured lists. This was always permanent.
4. Toward the end I had a few clips removed for undescribed violations of community standards, but with no indication that it meant a strike against my account or that I was on any sort of probation.
5. A more significant clip removal sometimes came with a stern warning that it was a strike against the good standing of my channel and that I was on a six-month probation where I had to avoid a similar strike. These can be challenged, but I never followed up on that. This is the worst response I ever received, and will discuss it further below.
6. I have heard from other video producers that their entire channel was shut down without warning, YouTube deeming perhaps a single clip so disturbing this was the proper response.
When I wrote my last post I included the last formal message I got from YouTube, about a Barbara Fletcher clip, indicated it was my “second strike” in six months and my channel was disabled, but nothing about the total shut down.
When I tried to open my YouTube channel that last time I was given an option to click if I thought my account was deleted incorrectly, which I selected. I received this response a bit after my last blog post:
I guess YouTube has a four strikes policy. People would be tickled to imagine most of these clips as remotely offensive. The Sheila Bleck clip is pretty much PG rated, bikini parts covered, nothing on a bed. In part of Wanda’s clip she wore a somewhat translucent top and careful scrutiny could reveal the outline of a nipple, and of course she has a sexy attitude and some bedroom posing. The Dena clip was from my Christmas collection, and though there was no nudity she was certainly posing in a sexy manner and enjoying her candy cane in a mildly provocative way. I would rate those two clips PG-13 at most. None of the “sexual content” would be out of place on network television.
This leaves the Barbara Fletcher clip. This was about as tame a clip you will find on the subject and I didn't notice at the time but if you clicked on a link to it this message came up: "This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube's policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content." This clip was specifically targeted by the pirates, and their malicious flagging worked.
YouTube clearly has the responsibility to enforce community standards, I am not upset with them about that. I am upset with the way things went down, with no communications, no chance to dispute the decisions, or clear guidance on how to maintain good standing. I also believe they owe me at least a thousand bucks in unpaid advertising revenue, but I have no way to discuss this with anyone.
I didn’t get a chance to capture my final YouTube statistics, but they were captured on this page (most details gone now): http://vidstatsx.com/v/TomNine
Subscribers: 15,322, with about 25 new ones a day
Total views: 72,699,605. Ranking 514th among all channels with an average of 425,601 views per clip
Channel views: 2,615,987, ranking 802nd
A lot of people suggest I take my business to DailyMotion or another video sharing site. If simple video sharing was my only goal, that would be fine. But no other site delivers the web presence of YouTube, both in terms of building a brand and in reaching a broad audience.
I haven’t said much about the pirates who caused so much damage to our community on YouTube. The situation is evolving and I may write a future post about it.