Cryptocurrency has always had a bad relationship with internet giants like Facebook and Google. Just because cryptocurrencies are often tied to various illicit activities, both the platforms have tried to censor crypto-based content to stay out of regulatory trouble.
While this is necessary to keep these events in check, severe and unfair censorship are damaging to the growth of the crypto industry and this is exactly what happened with Google’s video streaming platform YouTube.
Google had previously cracked-down on cryptocurrency-related advertising and updated its financial services-related ad policies to ban any advertising about cryptocurrency-related content, including initial coin offerings (ICOs), wallets, and trading advice. The ban lasted for three months after which Google revised its ad policies and lightened up on cryptocurrencies.
A year after this, YouTube went on to remove hundreds of cryptocurrency-related videos starting December 23. The video streaming platform removed several cryptocurrency-related content while giving warnings and “strikes,” which prevented content creators from producing new content.
The incident was reported by several content creators who claimed that their videos were being removed citing “harmful or dangerous content.” YouTuber Chris Dunn, whose channel has over 210,000 subscribers, noticed on Monday that the platform had removed all of his videos that mentioned cryptocurrencies.
“@YouTube just removed most of my crypto videos citing ‘harmful or dangerous content’ and ‘sale of regulated goods’… it’s been 10 years of making videos, 200k+ subs, and 7M+ views. WTF are you guys doing @TeamYouTube?!”
Omar Bham (@crypt0snews), who curated a list of all the YouTubers who have been affected by the ban, stated that YouTube was supposedly deleting crypto channels with links to external websites or exchanges listed in video descriptions.
“It seems that a reason why YouTube would have to go after crypto channels is any links to external websites/exchanges in video descriptions.”
YouTube finally responded via twitter to YouTuber Carl The Moon, who had earlier tweeted about his vide getting taken down. @TeamYouTube responded to a previous tweet sent by Carl The Moon (@themooncarl) on the matter, stating:
“Hey there, this was an error on our side during the review process – your video should be reinstated and strikes resolved. Let us know if you’re seeing otherwise!”
The YouTuber later confirmed that the strike was removed on his channel as well as others affected by it.
Despite YouTube undoing the damage it has done, content creators are now expressing their interests about moving on to decentralized content sharing platforms. Similar views were expressed by some of the biggest personalities within the crypto industry.
Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance tweeted that this was an opportunity for decentralized platforms to emerge. Zhao said:
This event was the perfect example of what happens when a central authority is in charge. Blockchain was specifically designed to solve these problems, and the industry is making great progress in doing so.