YouTube, which is one of the most popular websites for video-sharing around the globe, has faced quite a number of controversies over the years. The recent controversy surrounding YouTube is the erasing of videos regarding vaping. Vaping YouTube has been struck by the actions taken against content creators by the YouTube authorities.
Products reviewers of vape products like Ruby Roo, Ryan Hall and Tia Vapes have held strikes against this action as none of them know why this has happened. The most popular belief is that YouTube is targeting videos regarding JUUL products. As politicians and anti-tobacco groups are attacking on JUUL and protesting against its use, chances are that this served as the motivation for YouTube.
Moreover, JUUL has also stated that it is willing and eager to aid in any way to stop the youth from using JUUL products, it is evident that YouTube is banning all such content. On the other side, some vapers are of the view that JUUL and YouTube are working together to cleanse the video-sharing website of any juuling content.
A spokesperson for JUUL Labs said that although they are not behind the disappearance of vaping content on YouTube but they are actively requesting YouTube to remove any content that targets children or teenagers and is advocating JUUL’s usage in younger audience.
The veteran reviewer Ruby Roo, who has over 85000 followers on Instagram said on his latest post, “YouTube is handing out strikes left and right for JUUL vape reviews. Today I had to delete 3 videos, one of which was my most viewed video ever. To see my hard work being thrown out makes me sick. Vape channels are being targeted by YouTube. All I want to do is help people not to smoke, and to put food on my table. Why does it have to be this way?”
Ruby further on said that she is neither a teenager nor is she creating any videos that are youth-oriented or made to influence them. She said that YouTube does not believe in First Amendment of the Constitution. Nick GrimmGreen, another popular vape products reviewer commented on the post that this move by YouTube has made him worried.
How YouTube works when it comes to blocking or taking down inappropriate content is pretty vague. Although the guidelines describe content, which is not allowed on the platform but they are flexible. Content contributors have to make calculated guesses about what kind of videos they can publish or not.
YouTube has a three strikes policy when it comes to blocking content by channels. The first strike means that some of the common features used by channel owners will be disabled for them, for example livestream. The strike is for three months. If the channel receives a second strike during the three-month time period, the channel is unable to post any new video for two weeks. If a third strike takes place during the three-month period, it means the account is terminated by YouTube.
It is still not evident what YouTube is doing and only time will be able to tell this.