YouTube Blocks Gambling Channels under Latest Rule Changes

Gambling channels have been terminated under YouTube’s Arbitrary Moderation Process.

The video-sharing website YouTube seems to have started closing users’ gambling channels, The Atlantic reported. Brian Cristopher, a user and channel owner, revealed that his account got surprisingly suspended last week, with the website informing him of the actions taken against the account via e-mail.

Mr. Christopher, who has been running the BrianChristopherSlots channel, has uploaded over 1,100 vlogs displaying him gamble mostly on slot machines. The channel has 80,000 subscribers and has gathered about 50 million views. It also became clear that his account was not the only one prominent gambling channel which got blocked last week.

The video-sharing network sent explanatory notes via e-mail, saying that the suspension of the accounts was due to continuous or severe violations of its community guidelines under which dangerous and high-risk acts, which could end up with serious harm or even death for individuals, could not be displayed.

Mr. Christopher, however, opposed to the decision, saying that his vlogs are his primary income source. According to him, he has always made sure that he got approval from the casinos he uploads videos of and also from the slot-machine manufacturers before the vlogs were published. As explained by him, he currently makes his full-time living on YouTube, so he is frightened he could lose this income source.

In addition, the YouTuber also explained that no swearing and explicit content is displayed in his videos, so he could not imagine how he had violated the guidelines of the website which has always been blamed for not providing enough clarity on its rules and policies.

YouTube Unexpected Policy Changes in 2018

January 2018 saw some unexpected changes brought to the YouTube qualifications used by the network to judge whether a certain channel was eligible to earn money when uploaded at the video-sharing platform. Due to the changes, a large number of small channels were no longer able to generate a profit on the platform and were actually given no chance to appeal the decision of the website. In addition, many channel owners were unable to directly reach the company as they were not members of YouTube’s top 3%, and they were sent automated e-mails informing them for their channels suspensions.

A few months later, a number of vloggers tried reaching the company collectively, while others decided to quit their attempts to get in touch with the platform. The video-sharing website’s policy was blamed for not being transparent enough, with campaigners saying that it failed on providing in-depth information to video content creators.

For the time being, the gambling community on YouTube is not very large, but there are some big and profitable channels with tens and even hundreds of thousands of followers. This allows channel owners to make broker brand deals with large gambling-machine manufacturers, casinos and online gambling websites operating on the territory of Europe. The recent decision of YouTube to block gambling channels similar to the one of Mr. Christopher has put such business relationships in danger, with possibly stripping some channel owners of their source of income.

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