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YouTube's Ridiculous Community Guidelines? Be VERY Afraid!

Discussion in 'Channel Feedback' started by Shuey187., May 26, 2015.

  1. I encountered something recently that was SO shocking, I'm completely spooked now about being a YouTube member...

    I was logged in a few days ago, going about my usual daily business (reviewing comments, etc). Then less than 24 hours later, I couldn't login to my channel. I was greeted with a message that my account was suspended! The exact message was "This account has been suspended due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube's policy against spam, gaming, misleading content, or other Terms of Service violations."

    There was no email in my inbox from Google or YouTube about this (and no, there was nothing in my spam folder). I called YouTube support (I found the number online on their website) and after waiting for almost 90 minutes on-hold, I finally got to talk to someone. The woman I spoke with said that YouTube doesn't have an official "staffed" department for support. She also told me that she has no idea why my account was suspended, and couldn't look that info up (I found that surprising). Then she said "they probably sent you an email but you just didn't see it because it went to your spam folder". I told her that there was no email, including in my spam folder. I also told her that I filled out the online forum for appealing account suspensions and she said "Good luck hearing back from someone anytime soon; they usually take 2-3 weeks to reply".

    One day later, I finally got an email and it stated this: "The YouTube community flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. After reviewing the content, we’ve determined that the videos violate our Community Guidelines. As a result, we removed the following videos from YouTube:

    "Tetris Pattern - Question Mark (Incomplete)" (https://youtu.be/WYiJ9-pZQ_0)
    Misleading descriptions, tags, titles, or thumbnails designed to increase views are not allowed. Tags should only be placed in the appropriate tag section and not in the description. It's also not okay to post large amounts of untargeted, unwanted, or repetitive content, including comments and private messages. Your account has received one Community Guidelines strike, which will expire in six months. Additional violations could prevent you from posting content to YouTube or even lead to your account getting terminated."

    The day after that, I received an email from YouTube stating "We have re-reviewed the circumstances of your suspension and have concluded it is appropriate to reinstate your account. This means your account is once again active and operational.". I signed into my account, and I was able to access my channel again, but I couldn't access my video manager - there was a message that this feature was disabled due to my account being restricted from the first strike I received, and that the strike would be on my account for 6 months! I replied to the email they sent me, expressing my thanks that my channel was re-activated, but would like to know what caused my account to get flagged in the first place since there were no details (and I couldn't access the video that they claimed caused all of this - yeah, they blocked my access to my own video; the video that they said was flagged!).

    Then the day after that, I signed into YouTube and received a new message that my account was suspended AGAIN! I emailed YouTube again and asked them what was going on. They sent me a reply stating this: "This account was found in Violation of TOU #4 Section H: http://www.youtube.com/t/terms

    "You agree not to use or launch any automated system, including without limitation, "robots," "spiders," or "offline readers," that accesses the Service in a manner that sends more request messages to the YouTube servers in a given period of time than a human can reasonably produce in the same period by using a conventional on-line web browser. Notwithstanding the foregoing, YouTube grants the operators of public search engines permission to use spiders to copy materials from the site for the sole purpose of and solely to the extent necessary for creating publicly available searchable indices of the materials, but not caches or archives of such materials. YouTube reserves the right to revoke these exceptions either generally or in specific cases. You agree not to collect or harvest any personally identifiable information, including account names, from the Service, nor to use the communication systems provided by the Service (e.g., comments, email) for any commercial solicitation purposes. You agree not to solicit, for commercial purposes, any users of the Service with respect to their Content.""

    I was so angry and frustrated! I replied back with this: "How am I supposed to do anything to get my account in a standing that will prevent these flags against it if you guys won't even let me go back into my video list and correct any possible issues that could cause the same problem again!?" They replied back with the SAME email they sent me before. I replied back again with this: "I can't understand why you guys don't actually provide "support". I am a 5 year member with a clean track record, but then someone comes along and decides to start harassing me with lame claims against my channel and videos, and you guys lock down my channel so hard that I can't even manage it anymore. And worse yet, you guys aren't willing to communicate with me to explain what I actually did. You say I broke one of the cardinal community guideline rules, but you don't give any specifics of what I did or how my content relates to these false claims against me..."

    The next day, I signed into my YouTube account and the two strikes against my account were gone, and my account was 100% in "good standing" and I had full access to all my content again. BUT, because of how scary this whole experience was, I made all my videos private and have been "laying low" for the last several days because I'm so freaked out that it might happen again! :(

    Now that I finally have access to all of my content, I'm able to look at the details of the videos that were originally flagged. Here's the first one that was flagged:
    Title = "Tetris Pattern - Question Mark (Incomplete)"
    Description = "My first attempt at a question mark pattern. I was two lines away from completing it at the top, but the speed and space started to make it tough."
    Tags = "tetris questions mark, tetris pattern, tetris, shuey"

    The second video they claimed was in violation of "TOU #4 Section H" was this:
    Title = "Tetris Pattern - Pac-Man (Incomplete)"
    Description = "What makes this pattern very difficult is the very top line that completes Pacman's head. It is supposed to be five lines wide, and it has to be left by itself with no other pieces/holes around it. And what makes THAT hard to do is that you would have to clear two strategic lines that create the five piece line with that sitting on top of a stack that could be perfectly cleared to leave only the five line piece remaining. A combination of not a lot of space to work up top, and level speed increasing make this pretty challenging. I got everything but the last line in the pattern completed a little after 7 minutes but struggled on the last line to the point that I gave up on this try."
    Tags = "tetris pattern, tetris pacman, tetris pac-man, shuey, shuey187, john schuepbach, tetrisfriends, tetris friends, tetrimino, tetromino"

    Can anyone tell how the heck my account could get flagged from THAT?

    What would you guys recommend from here on out?... I really want to be able to continue sharing my videos with the world. I've been an active member on YouTube for over 5 years, I have over 800 subscribers, My videos have over 4 million views, and I've had companies pay me to show my videos on TV shows in the UK, Australia and Japan. But I'm afraid if I make my videos public again, some jerk from the community will report another one of my videos (for no good reason) and get me suspended again! :( It was far too easy for one person to take down my entire channel...
     
  2. Re: YouTube's Ridiculous Community Guidelines? Be VERY Afra

    Today I was greeted with a message that both videos have been flagged again and I've received a strike on my account! The videos are private now and are not shared with anyone! How is my account continually being attacked?!
     
  3. Re: YouTube's Ridiculous Community Guidelines? Be VERY Afra

    Dude, that sucks. I have no idea how this might be happening. One channel I subscribe to is YouTube certified and he get's flagged for stuff as well. Maybe see if you can reach out to him and see if he has any advice. +VideoCreators

    You might also try contacting ScaleLab support. They may have some insight into the matter as well.

    The YouTube strikes seem very shady in some ways. I've heard of people getting taken down because someone decided to go clicking their ads repeatedly.
     

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