Is YouTube Cracking Down On Internet Marketers?

Over the past week or so a number of Internet marketers, including Problogger and Hubze, reported that their YouTube accounts were suspended without warning. The takedowns have got many people asking themselves whether this signifies that YouTube is cracking down on Internet marketers.

Over the past week or so a number of Internet marketers, including Problogger and Hubze, reported that their YouTube accounts were suspended without warning.  The takedowns have got many people asking themselves whether this signifies that YouTube is cracking down on Internet marketers.

Over the weekend a post by Darren Rowse went up on his site, Problogger.net, reporting on his YouTube suspension.  Problogger is one of the biggest blogs on the Web, so news of the takedown spread like wildfire on Twitter when Rowse’s post went up.  He wrote, “Today I was ‘suspended’ from YouTube with no warning and no explanation of why.  Where my videos once appeared on this site, a message appears that tarnishes my reputation.”  The message?  “Darrenrowse has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of our community guidelines.”  Not very pleasant, eh?

Rowse wrote a tongue-in-cheek love letter to YouTube, expressing his frustrations.  He begins with, “Dear YouTube, I know breaking up can be difficult—but it’s generally acceptable to let the other person know!” He then goes on to talk about how he built his relationship with YouTube—when he got started posting videos and how he became a partner (yes, they suspended his account and he is a partner!).  Rowse tells YouTube that he is frustrated that they have put up a message on all of his videos stating, “This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content.” He says, “You see those who see that message trust you—they know you—they take what you say as an ultimate truth…so for you to tell them that hurts—but me and my reputation.”

As it turns out, the reason that YouTube ultimately gave for blocking Problogger Darren Rowse’s account was a video called ‘Secrets to Making Money Online.’ Rowse says, “I’m not sure what the problem with the video is (it make no promises and promotes nothing) or why a problem with one video would trigger an account wide suspension, why they wouldn’t just delete the video and/or ask me to make changes.”  It should be noted that within about 12 hours of posting his “love letter”, Rowse’s account was reactivated, along with the video in question, which we’ve embedded below.

Last night ReelSEO.com reported that a similar thing happened to Internet marketing company Hubze.  Hubze CEO David Foster wrote on the Hubze blog, “So it seems that YouTube (owned by Google) is on the war path with Internet marketers.  Our account (hubze1) that housed over 250 free training videos was suspended today with no warning, and indication on how we could even fix what was wrong.”

Hubze received only the following email from YouTube, pointing out a single video and letting them know that the account had received a warning strike that would expire in six months, as well as that further violations could result in termination.  However, if you go to the hubze1 YouTube channel you’ll find a message that says the account has already been terminated.

Foster writes, “Our account was in perfect standing, and even had all limitations removed as to how long our videos could be etc.  We made sure that we only uploaded 100% original content.  All of our videos were basically training videos on using social media.  In my opinion, we did not even fall under the Internet Marketing umbrella, even though I am technically an Internet Marketer.”

In the meantime, Foster says that Hubze will be moving over to Vimeo and he plans to make a video about what’s happened and post it to a different YouTube account.  Unlike Darren Rowse’s account, the Hubze account has not been reinstated at this time.

What do you think about these recent takedowns?  Do you think they were a mistake?  A coincidence?  Or does YouTube really have some kind of vendetta against Internet marketers?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.