This weekend, Problogger got a lot of attention for having his YouTube Account suspended “with no warning and no explanation of why.” The story has a happy ending as his site came back up about 12 hours after he posted the above linked article but … scary none the less.
Read into the article and you'll find the issue was probably a video with the title of “Secrets of Making Money Online.”
His second strike was “How To Make Money Online – 80/20 Rule.”
Seeing a trend here?
YouTube has two specific pages about content you can't/can't put online in her “Terms of Service” and “Community Guidelines.” I read nothing in these pages that says you can't put (your own) commercial content online at YouTube – please let me know if you have seen anything else by YouTube regarding this topic.
Again, if you can find anything published from YouTube in what you can and can't do commercially (I keep hearing of documents, I just can't find them), please let me know.
So, what do we do with this news?
Some will point to the dirty Internet marketers who are only interested in making money online and say something along the lines of they get what they deserve. I'm not in that camp. I'll question until the cows come home how effective some of these videos are but … Problogger is a key figure in this space (and a nice guy) and when he does a video on a topic fascinating to me, I'm interested. And it's hardly a “no no” topic in either the community or terms of service guidelines.
Some will say YouTube is just a platform and they need to be 100% hands off. This is a topic that deserves a book (let along a post) of her own but let's face it, they have to, at the very least, respond to DMCA takedown requests.
YouTube is becoming more and more important. Their desire is to be a partner with the big content producers (they don't just call it the “Partner Program” for branding purposes) and make cool things happen. I'd recommend playing their game.
It's more than a “free” video hosting platform. Community interaction is more than getting someone to make a background for your channel page. If you're gonna play with YouTube, do more than just sign up for an account and put a few keywords on your channel page. Consider letting them put ads on a video or two (there is lousy money in it – it's about the relationship) and start treating her like the social network that she is. Interact with your audience at YouTube and you'll be surprised of the benefit that will come from it. Once YouTube realizes she's more to you than cheap hosting, you'll be pleased at what happens.
I've been involved with dozens (and then some) of YouTube accounts and have only seen one shut down. She directly went against something in the terms and didn't have this history to appear as anything else other than someone trying to abuse the system. I won't say she ‘got what she deserved' but I can totally understand YouTube's take on that one.