It’s one thing for Google to pull a fast, automated, unexplained one over a creator with “merely” 1 or 2 million subscribers, without ever bothering to properly present the demonetizing/banning reasons that end up damaging that YouTuber’s presence and business on the platform.
But what happens when this is done to a creator with 20+ million followers?
If gaming-centric YouTuber Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach is anything to go by – nothing much is different, at least not as of this writing, several days into the controversy.
In Markiplier’s case – the damage was indirect. Namely, many of his 24.5 million subscribers have been reporting being banned from YouTube simply for doing what he told them to do – using emotes in a chat to one of his videos. Specifically, they did this after being invited to make their opinions known in this way during YouTube’s first original interactive special on November 6.
The event was dubbed, “A Heist With Markiplier.” But it went horribly wrong for many paying participants. The result has been that of hundreds of subscribers ending up having their YouTube accounts disabled.
Worse still, reports mention that the ban extended to people’s Google accounts beyond YouTube – allegedly locking them out of their Gmail as well. This in the meanwhile garnered more than 8,000 tweets hashtagged, #Istandwiththebanned.
Markiplier has been fairly quick to issue his reaction.
Equally quickly, while expressing his criticism of Google as possibly “untrustworthy,” he posted a comment on his own video to let those affected know that “a solution is in the works but is still pending.”
Given the size of this particular channel, it’s easy to believe that “a solution is in the works.” But taking a look at what caused YouTube to get mired in this controversy in the first place should remain a great cause of interest, and concern, for any YouTuber creator, not to mention any Google account user out there.
This is not least because those attempting to challenge the ban have come up against the wall of Google’s notorious lack of user service. Additionally, Google/YouTube now seems to be relying on clearly inadequate AI moderation solutions to make calls that receive no human review before being implemented on the platform – and would likely get no review after the fact, either – unless the channel was 20+ million subscribers strong.
Update – November 9, 2019: YouTube says it has reinstated the fan accounts. However, Markiplier says that some of the accounts have not been reinstated.