YouTube Targets Gambling Channels for Suspension

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YouTube has started terminating users’ gambling channels. One user was informed that the suspension was due to “repeated or severe violations” of its community guidelines.

Changes to qualifications that the video-sharing platform looks at to determine whether a channel is eligible to earn money when a video has been uploaded to it were introduced at the beginning of the year.

After raising the threshold for monetization, those who were unable to meet it received tersely worded emails and were removed from YouTube’s Partner Program.

YouTube targets gambling channels

Now, it seems that YouTube is turning its attention to users’ gambling channels, as reported by The Atlantic. A user by the name of Brian Christopher learned that his account had been suspended after receiving an email from the video platform.

The email read: “We’d like to inform you that due to repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines your YouTube account Brian Christopher has been suspended.”

It went on to say that it doesn’t permit content that “encourages or promotes violent or dangerous acts that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death”. According to the report, Christopher is one of many video creators who make a full-time living through YouTube videos. Over the past two years, he has produced more than 1,100 vlogs of himself gambling, mainly on slot machines, and has attracted 50 million views and 80,000 subscribers.

He also said that he always receives approval from the casinos and the slot machine manufacturers that he bases his vlogs on before he publishes his content. Since receiving the email from YouTube and appealing its decision to suspend his account, Christopher’s channel was reinstated by the video sharing platform. However, he said that he wasn’t given any information as to why it was terminated in the first place.

Yet, while he may have had his channel put back online, the same can’t be said for many others. Earlier this week, The Big Jackpot tweeted that its one-year-old channel, which had 100,000 subscribers, was removed without any notice.

Kim Hultman, a Swedish YouTuber, who runs the gambling channel LetsGiveitaspinTV, was mid-stream when he realized that YouTube had suspended his account. He explained that even though he appealed and said he had been operating his channel for over two years, all he received was a generic email saying the platform had reviewed his appeal.

“This is my full-time job,” he added. “You spend so many years to build it up, and they can just erase it with one button.”

Raising the threshold

In January, YouTube announced that it was increasing the requirements needed for monetization on the platform. In a blog post, the video-sharing company said: “We’re changing the eligibility requirement for monetization to 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers.”

Previously, YouTubers in the Partner Program had to generate a total of only 10,000 views on a video throughout its lifetime. As part of the new threshold, YouTube went on to clarify that channels with fewer than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours will automatically be “re-evaluated under strict criteria to ensure they comply with our policies”.

This means that small-time creators who fail to meet these new requirements will see themselves removed from the Partner Program. YouTube noted: “Though these changes will affect a significant number of channels, 99% of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90% earning less than $2.50 in the last month.”

It added that size alone is not enough to determine whether a channel is suitable for its platform. It said that it will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that its creator community is protected from bad actors. Many video creators, though, blame the website’s policy for not being transparent enough.

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