On Christmas Eve, under the cover of the holiday downtime YouTube started to suddenly mass delete cryptocurrency videos without giving those in the community any advance warning. As we previously reported, many top YouTubers were caught up in this crypto purge with Ivan on Tech, Chris Dunn, and Chico Crypto being some of the larger channels that were affected.
Since this first report, YouTube’s cryptocurrency purge has continued with many other large channels having their videos taken down and receiving strikes on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Now YouTube has responded to this mass crypto purge in two separate updates but unfortunately for the cryptocurrency community, neither of these updates provide much clarity on the situation.
The first update from Team YouTube on Twitter was posted on Christmas Day and simply said: “We’re looking into this. Hope to share an update soon.”
The second update from a YouTube spokesperson was published in a Decrypt article on Boxing Day and said that the videos were removed “in error” and had been put back online. However, despite the spokesperson’s claims, none of the videos appear to have been restored and many of the YouTubers that were affected have pushed back against the article.
Cryptocurrency YouTuber Chris Dunn, who was caught up in the initial purge, has issued an update since YouTube made these statements. He said that one of his strikes was removed and the videos showed as “appeal approved” but very few were actually reinstated. Today he was then slapped with a fresh strike and had even more videos removed.
Heidi, the host of the Crypto Tips YouTube channel which was hit in the first wave of this cryptocurrency purge, also questioned YouTube’s claims that this was a mistake and said: “My appeals have not been addressed so time will tell if this is real.”
For now, the only thing that’s certain is that since the initial reports of a crypto purge on Christmas Eve, more cryptocurrency videos have been deleted, more channels have received strikes, and many channels have set their videos to private in an attempt to avoid future strikes which could result in permanent channel termination. This means that many of the most popular crypto YouTube channels now have no videos publicly available to viewers.
Nicholas Merten, host of the DataDash YouTube channel which has over 328,000 subscribers, reported on Christmas Day that his channel had been hit with a strike and that he would be setting all the channels videos to private to avoid “another unjustified strike.”
Merten added that he’s been using YouTube since 2007 and that his video that was uploaded months ago was hit with a “harmful content” violation.
Altcoin Buzz, another popular crypto YouTube channel with 208,000 subscribers said that it also received a strike for “harmful and dangerous” content.
Boxmining said that it had multiple videos removed by YouTube and was also hit with a strike.
The channel has over 196,000 subscribers and has now set all its videos to private as a precautionary measure.
Omar Bham’s YouTube channel Crypt0 with 120,000 subscribers also got caught up in this cryptocurrency purge with one of his videos being removed.
Yet another YouTube channel to have some cryptocurrency videos removed was sunny decree – a channel with over 112k subscribers.
The Crypto Lark sarcastically described how it got a “nice Christmas present from YouTube” with 37 videos being removed and its channel with more than 104,000 subscribers being hit with a strike.
The Ready Set Crypto channel with more than 98,000 subscribers said it had videos which it had “put tons of work into” erased by YouTube as part of this purge.
The host of Crypto Zombie (94,000+ subscribers) also described how he had been hit with a warning in one of his recent YouTube videos.
Another YouTube channel to be reportedly hit with a strike during this cryptocurrency purge is Crypto Beadle which has more than 89,000 subscribers.
“The YouTube purge has now reached my channel!” said The Moon – a cryptocurrency channel with over 81,000 subscribers. It received a warning for a video that was uploaded in January 2019.
The Moon added that its videos were “still gone” and it still has a warning on the channel, despite YouTube saying removing these cryptocurrency videos was a mistake and that they had been restored.
Pro Blockchain, a channel with more than 72,000 subscribers, was also hit with a strike.
One of the hardest-hit channels in this cryptocurrency purge was Nugget’s News which has over 64,000 subscribers. CEO and founder Alex Saunders said over 100 videos were removed from the channel, many of which weren’t even about crypto.
Saunders added that the channel was also given two strikes by YouTube and that like many of the other YouTube channels in the space, he’s setting all of Nugget’s News cryptocurrency videos to private while he attempts to resolve the situation.
Jacob Canfield, a Bitcoin analyst and guest trader on Forbes and CNBC, suggested that he has also received a strike and has been temporarily prevented from uploading to his YouTube channel with over 60,000 subscribers.
And even channels that stopped creating cryptocurrency content don’t appear to have been spared during this purge. Asger Folmann, the host of YouTube channel Meta Quest, announced that he was “leaving crypto” weeks ago but said that he “woke up to an unwanted Christmas gift in the shape of a strike on YouTube.”
The current uncertainty surrounding the cryptocurrency community on YouTube is reflective of many other communities on the platform.
Kendall Rae, one of the biggest true crime YouTubers, recently had one of her videos removed under YouTube’s harmful and dangerous policy. After her appeal to have the video reinstated was rejected, it left many fearing that true crime content is now at risk on YouTube.
YouTube’s purge of comedy videos, political commentary videos, and videos that criticize other YouTubers under its updated harassment policy suggests that these genres are also no longer viable on YouTube.
Update – December 26, 2019: Omar Bham (Crypt0) has had his warning repealed and his video restored.
Update – December 31, 2019: YouTube has now restored most of the crypto videos that were taken down.