Recently, YouTube started removing Cannabis related channels from their platform.
Channels like Matthias710WRX, Strain Central, Urban Remo, Loaded up Entertainment, The High Rise Co., Customgrow420, School of Hard Nugs, Vader OG, Medgrower1, Jorge Cervantes, and plenty more have had their channels terminated over the last 6 weeks.
Our YouTube channel, Cannabis Lifestyle TV, is 100% educational but we were terminated as well.
Why is YouTube terminating Cannabis related content? We think it may have something to do with the backlash received from advertisers, similar to what the gun community recently dealt with.
YouTube’s Policy Changes
Back in April, YouTube stated that they [randomly] decided to change some of their policies, mainly targeting pro-gun content.
Here’s what they had to say:
“While we’ve long prohibited the sale of firearms, we recently notified creators of updates we will be making around content promoting the sale or manufacture of firearms and their accessories.”
Well, these “updates” resulted in a mass demonetization and even worse, termination of gun channels all over the video streaming giant’s platform.
For those of you reading this who don’t know what demonetization is, it’s YouTube deciding to not allow ads to be displayed on certain videos. This takes away revenue that a creator can receive for the work they put in for the content you watch.
Now it seems that they’re taking a similar approach to Cannabis related content, as seen by the mass termination of Cannabis channels recently.
The YouTube Account Termination Process
We received a series of emails from YouTube on the route to termination. Here’s how they went:
The first email was to let us know that one of our older, less viewed videos was not allowed on YouTube (well over a year after they ALLOWED IT). They decided to remove our Northen Skunk Strain Review from their platform because it “violated their guidelines”.
Email #2 was just like the last one we received; another old video violated their community guidelines, it’s removed, we got a strike, blah, blah. We get it.
But this time the repercussions were worse:
“This is the second strike applied to your account within three months. As a result, you’re unable to post new content to YouTube for two weeks. If there are no further issues, the ability to upload will be automatically restored after this two-week period.
We understand that users seldom intend to violate our policies. That’s why strikes don’t last forever – this strike will expire in three months. However, it’s important to understand that if you receive three strikes within three months, we’ll terminate your account, rendering it permanently inaccessible.“
So less than a week later we received the third and final strike from YouTube. We were informed that another older video was flagged, removed, yada yada…but instead of just removing the video they felt it made more sense to remove us from their platform entirely:
“This is the third Community Guidelines strike your account has received within three months.
Because of that, your account has now been terminated, and you won’t be able to access or create any other YouTube accounts.”
So, That’s It?!?
I learned that there’s not much that can be done once YouTube decides your content violates the community guidelines.
They offer an option to appeal the decision, but that’s proven to be a waste of time. The same generic, generated message gets sent back to nearly all creators who’ve had their Cannabis channel banned.
According to them:
“YouTube doesn’t allow content that encourages or promotes violent or dangerous acts that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death. For example, it’s not okay to post videos showing drug abuse, underage drinking and smoking, or bomb making.
The only depictions of such activities that we may allow need to be educational or documentary in nature and shouldn’t be designed to help or encourage others to imitate them. When uploading a video, make sure to post as much information as possible in the title and description to help us and your viewers understand the primary purpose of the video.”
Now, on every single video we’ve put out, I make sure to include a disclaimer in the video description that clearly states who our content is for and what the purpose of it is.
We’ve never encouraged or promoted anything violent or illegal, and especially not for underage kids. Yet we still wind up getting the ax from YouTube, for whatever reason.
Now, What Do We Do?
Well, after producing content for YouTube for years, getting booted from the platform is pretty discouraging.
Creators have been putting in effort day in and day out to help educate and even entertain people looking to have a better experience with Cannabis. All of the content we’ve created has not only helped the millions of people watching, but it’s helped YouTube in more ways than we realize.
Whether it’s directly from ad revenue or from keeping the viewers engaged enough to stay on the platform, all of us creators have contributed a ton to YouTube’s bottom line.
What do we get back? A big middle finger in the form of 3 emails ?
With that being said, it’s time to stand up for the creators everywhere, not just us. As a community, both creators and fans, we can ban together and make a change.
We created a petition in efforts to convince YouTube to reconsider their stance on Cannabis related channels and let us continue to create content on their platform for adult Cannabis users or people looking to learn more about the plant.
Education is a key part of this Cannabis movement, we can’t let it disappear from the internet.
MAKE A CHANGE TODAY!
Being a lifelong Cannabis advocate, as well as a Digital Marketing Specialist, Rob brings a variety of experience and skills to Cannabis Lifestyle TV.
Current Favorite Strain: Headbanger from Karma Genetics
Consumer or Grower?: Both