Update – February 26, 2021: CoinDesk’s YouTube channel has been restored. “We’re pleased to let you know that we’ve recently reviewed your YouTube account, and after taking another look, we can confirm that it is not in violation of our Terms of Service,” YouTube wrote in a statement.
YouTube has terminated the channel of CoinDesk, one of the most popular cryptocurrency news websites, and accused the outlet of “severe or repeated violations” of YouTube’s community standards.
CoinDesk has been publishing cryptocurrency content to its website since 2013 and uploading videos to the YouTube channel for several years.
Earlier this month, it stepped up its production of video content and launched CoinDesk TV – a series of daily and weekly cryptocurrency shows and live streams. CoinDesk TV had been broadcasting to YouTube, the CoinDesk website, and several other video sharing platforms.
But now, CoinDesk will be unable to share this new slate of programs with the 21,000+ subscribers it had on YouTube.
CoinDesk wrote that YouTube took down the live stream of the daily CoinDesk TV show “All About Bitcoin” and claimed that it violated the tech giant’s “harmful and dangerous” policy. The channel was then removed for alleged severe or repeated violations of YouTube’s rules.
In an email, YouTube wrote “content that encourages illegal activities or incites users to violate YouTube’s guidelines is not allowed on YouTube” but failed to provide any further explanation, according to CoinDesk.
CoinDesk added that it has filed multiple appeals, that one of these appeals was rejected for administrative reasons, and that it has had no direct response from YouTube.
“We’re attempting to get in direct touch with YouTube,” CoinDesk CEO Kevin Worth said. “As an independent, trusted media company around since 2013, we take very seriously our ability to publish timely market information and are trying to understand what exactly the issue is.”
CoinDesk’s experience with YouTube is reflective of the increasingly uncertain environment the YouTube and its parent company Google has created for cryptocurrency channels through its enforcement decisions over the last few years.
Several popular channels were suspended from YouTube under similar circumstances on Christmas Eve 2019 with the video-sharing platform citing the same harmful and dangerous policy. A couple of days later, YouTube said the suspensions were an “error” and started to restore the channels.
Since then, some cryptocurrency YouTubers have continued to have their videos censored. Several YouTubers and cryptocurrency websites have also accused Google of shadowbanning Bitcoin-related content.
In addition to this, several cryptocurrency apps and extensions have been censored by Google. In 2019, Google temporarily removed the MetaMask extension, which serves as a cryptocurrency wallet and gateway to blockchain apps, from its Google Play Store. And in 2020, the tech giant temporarily removed several cryptocurrency and blockchain news apps from its Google Play Store.