Poker Vlogger Jeff Boski Banned From YouTube4 weeks ago
Popular poker vlogger Jeff Boski has been banned from YouTube for warning players of the dangers of loans and scamming, joining Jaime Staples, Andrew Neeme and a long list of others to run afoul of the Google-owned giant’s apparent crackdown on poker content creators.
PokerTube spoke to Boski this week in an attempt to shed some light on this recurring and, to the poker creators, costly and seemingly intractable issue.
“I was told that it was a ‘Policy-oriented false positive which mistook your content as selling illegal goods’”, explained Jeff, after contacting YouTube Americas Head of Gaming @chen, who has been attempting to resolve poker-based issues.
“My account has been suspended several times over the last few months. On Christmas Eve YouTube removed 99% of my videos for no reason. Almost all poker vloggers have been affected by this. Many of our videos have been taken down and many of them have not been reinstated”, pointing out that fellow vlogger Brad Owen’s 2nd-ever video is still missing from the channel.
Indeed, PokerTube have been following the YouTube clampdown on poker content for some time now, last year’s hit on Jaime Staples particularly brutal…
…the well-liked Canadian pro, streamer and vlogger giving a ‘Poker YouTube Pocalypse update’ that saw ‘134 videos gone. 24 vlog channel, 110 poker channels’.
Elias Gutierrez, aka SinKarma, saw “the most family-friendly video I’ve done in my life” struck off, apparently the title “My Japanese girlfriend and why I am a poker player” flagging it up as against YouTube T&C’s.
As Boski explains, it’s a problem verging on the Kafka-esque:
“YouTube never tells us the specifics of what we did to violate their TOS. It is always general accusations that have no merit. It would be nice to know what we actually did so it won’t happen again. It seems like we didn’t do anything wrong, it is just because we are in the gaming or gambling category which the AI bot randomly flags.”
How the YouTube strike system works is infuriating and costly to those affected, as Boski details the penalties:
- When you get one strike, your video is removed and you can’t upload or post anything for seven days;
- Two strikes equals a 2 week ban,
- If you get three strikes, your whole channel is deleted!
The full details of YouTube’s strike system can be viewed here.
For many poker vloggers, however, such random strikes hit them directly in the pocket.
“Most vloggers do make decent ad revenue from YouTube videos,” says Jeff. “It all depends on the number and length of views. The greater the viewer retention, the more YouTube can run ads and make revenue.”
As part of the ongoing fightback against the seemingly arbitrary YouTube approach, poker’s finest are trying to organise a response to convince the video-sharing platform that this is a major issue for the poker community as a whole rather than individual problems.
“It’s nice to see how much my viewers care about my videos disappearing because I know they look forward to them and appreciate all the hard work it takes to create them. It’s crazy to think that 30,000 people or more watch a 10-minute video that I made with my iPhone and the iMovie editing app.”
YouTube have been contacted for a response to these issues.
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