I have had a YouTube.com account for years. I use it for small videos for my blog but mostly for video episodes of the Amateur Traveler podcast. One day about 3 weeks ago I posted a new video for a contest (this video for NomadicMatt’s Costa Rica contest). Just a little while later someone pointed out that they could not see my video. When I went to youtube.com/c/ChrisChristensen I was informed that my account was suspended – no warning, no notice, no explanation.
I was perplexed. I have been studying and studying the YouTube Terms of Service to try and figure out some reason.
- YouTube will terminate a User’s access to its Website if, under appropriate circumstances, they are determined to be a repeat infringer.
- YouTube reserves the right to decide whether Content or a User Submission is appropriate and complies with these Terms of Service for violations other than copyright infringement, such as, but not limited to, pornography, obscene or defamatory material, or excessive length. YouTube may remove such User Submissions and/or terminate a User’s access for uploading such material in violation of these Terms of Service at any time, without prior notice and at its sole discretion.
I wrote YouTube but received no reply. Finally, after repeated attempts to contact YouTube I received this email when I went to reopen the account:
Thanks for your email. Your “chris2x” account has been found to have
violated our Community Guidelines. Your account has now been terminated.
Please be aware that you are prohibited from accessing, possessing or
creating any other YouTube accounts.
YouTube staff review flagged videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week to
determine whether they violate our Community Guidelines. When a video or
account is brought to our attention we investigate and take action if
We are unable to provide specific detail regarding your account suspension
or your video’s removal. For more information on our what we consider
inappropriate content or conduct while using YouTube, please visit our
Community Guidelines and Tips at
http://www.youtube.com/t/community_guidelines and our Help Center article
So let’s be clear.
- I am banned, permanently if I read their email right
- I don’t know how I might have violated their guidelines
- They won’t say, and maybe can’t say how I violated their guidelines
- Oh by the way, even if they did restore my account they say that all the videos and all the comments would be gone. All those blog posts that referenced these videos are broken.
Wow, I must be a pretty bad spammer. But, I am not. The kind of things that I have posted on YouTube are video episodes of the Amateur Traveler. These shows have been called many things (one of the 10 best travel sites on the internet by the Chicago Sun Times, “One of the 4 best adventure travel podcasts” by Men’s Journal, one of the best travel podcasts by Lonely Planet and the Podcast Awards) but never obscene. I very seldom use music and when I do I make sure it is music I have a right to use and use it with attribution as required. I only post original work.
My most popular videos are probably these two:
The only thing that I can think of… the only video that is, in my opinion, rated PG-13 is this video from a beach in Greece. What do you think? Do you think this video is the kind of thing that should get me banned from YouTube with no warning for life?
Do you rely on YouTube? If so, I would not recommend it.
Thanks to help from CNet to the Rescue and @Rafe Needleman my account is completely restored. You have to have 3 videos reported as spam and verified by Google to be spam, but after they got a call from CNet they admitted that none of the videos that had been marked were a problem. See CNet to the Rescue! “Can you appeal a YouTube ban?” for details.