• Baron23
    4.5k
    Why is YouTube cracking down on cannabis videos?

    Everything under the sun can be found on YouTube—even cannabis. But recently, people who watch and post weed-related videos to the site began to see a purge. YouTube’s cannabis channels have lost chunks of their content, big sections of their audiences, and—in some cases—a revenue stream.

    The reasons why are open to speculation, as YouTube has made no statement on the matter. But, hey, you know who’s awesome at stoned speculation? (Points to self, forgets is holding bong, drenches lap. Again.)

    Some fun facts about YouTube: It was started waaaaay back in 2005, and by 2014 there were more than 300 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute of every day. It has more than one billion users, nearly a third of all people on the internet.

    It’s the third-most visited website in the world, is the second largest search engine (Google is number one, and just happens to own YouTube), and receives 15 billion visits per month.

    Create your own channel, and by becoming a Google AdSense partner you can earn some money, with YouTube keeping 55 percent of revenue from ads placed at the start of your videos. The program does not allow ad placement onto cannabis channels, which is categorized as “age restricted content.” Instead, channel owners can sell sponsorships and merchandise, and enter into branded content deals.

    Story Continues Below

    Cannabis channels are fantastic educational tools for growers and consumers to share strain and grow information, and they’ve also been great for activists, medical caregivers, patients, and, well, stoners. (I learned how to build my first vaporizer out of a fishbowl and a wood burner by watching YouTube.)

    Channels that have been eliminated by YouTube include the US-based channels Greenbox Grown (13,000 subscribers), That High Couple, (28,000 subscribers), GreenGenes Garden (43,000 subscribers), and Canada’s largest cannabis channel, UrbanRemo (190,000 subscribers). UrbanRemo was one of more than 20 US, EU, and Canadian sites that signed a statement in response to YouTube taking down well-known cannabis channels.

    YouTube does provide content guidelines, with violators receiving up to three “strikes,” after which the channel and all its content get permanently erased. Those guidelines include videos which “encourage dangerous or illegal activities” such as “bomb making, choking games, hard drug use, or other acts where serious injury may result.”

    But YouTube had allowed various cannabis channels to grow to hundreds of thousands of subscribers before unceremoniously dumping them. So what’s up?
    You may recall there was a bit of a kerfuffle a year ago, regarding YouTube not exactly monitoring their content or their ad placements all that well. Ads were showing up that Variety summed up as coming from “American white nationalists, anti-gay preachers, and radical Islamic groups.” (Worst answer ever to the question “Which three people would you invite to a dinner party?”)

    YouTube told PepsiCo, Proctor and Gamble, AT&T, and other multinational advertising clients with billions in ad money that they were on it. A few months later, there was another outcry when ads were placed on videos that were attracting the attention and comments of pedophiles.

    YouTube hired some more content screeners and instituted new algorithms to search out “offensive content.” On April 20, a CNN investigation revealed 300 advertisers, including Amazon, had been placed on channels for “white nationalists, Nazis, pedophilia, conspiracy theories, and North Korean propaganda.”

    So YouTube has been struggling with bigger problems, and cannabis may have gotten caught in the crosshairs. The couple behind the deleted channel That High Couple told Leafly, “YouTube can’t make ad revenue from cannabis content... They updated their algorithm to prevent ‘unsuitable’ content from getting ads delivered against their content, and the whole system has been crumbling ever since.”

    Kord Tagley of GenesGreen Garden also told Leafly, “It appears that bots are reviewing the appeals, because they’re getting bounced back in a matter of minutes.”

    A new start-up, weedtube.com, has offered itself as a cannabis-friendly video sharing platform, while others are using Pornhub to host their work. (Still not cool to open up Pornhub on your laptop, guy on plane next to me. Still not cool.)

    But in the meantime, this should be a wake-up call to those generating cannabis video content to protect your work: Upload everything first to your own website, share mad links to it, and protect ya neck instead of counting on big corporations like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram to do it.

    These entities welcome our presence and money when it’s convenient, but have no affection for cannabis—until it’s descheduled, in which case, they’ll probably pretend to be your new best friend. Until then, don’t get owned by Google any more than you already are.
  • Gman
    580
    good read!
  • Cmatz
    144
    Agreed. Good content. I did not fact check you tho :lol:
  • Russ
    82
    In my opinion, Google is getting too powerful. Governments no longer make the decisions of countries. Private corporations with endless resources are dictating laws through lobbyists and such. Governments are slowly eroding away due to corruption and becoming noting more than enforcers for these companies.

    The CEOs and shareholders are making decisions that effect us directly in the shadows. When the people I speak of here have their ducks in a row to profit from cannabis, you will see a massive shift almost overnight. Sites like Youtube and instagram will then allow whatever they deem acceptable at that point.

    tl;dr: Some jacktard at Google isnt ready to profit from cannabis so they are following fedral law. When said jacktard is ready, you will see cannabis videos accepted and laws changed.
  • Trix
    206
    Anyone notice 420 vapezone recently disappeared?
  • metalmancpa
    94
    Nice read. But honestly, this move by YouTube is just one more example of what has been going on in society for many years now. Political correctness, fear, money - pick your list and mix it all up. YouTube isn't ready yet to "risk" their name to be associated with marijuana.

    And to think where society was in 1936 on the subject:

  • Baron23
    4.5k
    Anyone notice 420 vapezone recently disappeared?Trix

    Yep, Troy is gone from there.
  • Rockytdogg
    1.3k
    Anyone notice 420 vapezone recently disappeared?Trix
    Yeah, while I’m certainly not a censorship proponent in any way I can honestly say I will not mourn the loss of low-brow, over-medicated product showcasers... leave the “reviews” to those that are capable.
  • VapeCritic
    7k

    Good article thanks for sharing :up:

    Facebook & Instagram can't be far behind! :roll:
  • MustB
    146
    @VapeCritic

    Maybe it's time to start migrating and taking your following over to Twitch?
  • Bruce
    1.1k


    The story tells the story, first there was London where weed became legalized, Then Colorodo, Then California and now dozens of states across the country are legalizing for Marijuana for medicine, and some fore recreational. Every law maker knows that every state will be allowing medical use of marijuana. Every state knows its going to be allowed to use marijuana recreationally. Canada is allowed for recreation. Every Country except a few knows Marijuana will be legal.

    In the US each state setting up for medicinal marijuana also can become the instrument to allow taxed recreational MJ.
  • metalmancpa
    94
    That just makes YouTube look more idiotic, distancing themselves from something that is growing, and stands to be a major player in the country for the long-term future. And they will look the bigger fool when they allow the channel types they've banned to come back.
  • midas
    218
    Youtube doesn't hate marijuana. They aren't deleting the content from what I've read. They have just demonetized those channels. Seeing the same thing in e-cig channels too. The big advertisers are the one's that don't want the association.

    So, you say, why doesn't Google just have categories and each advertiser can choose where they want their ads to be. The problem is, it goes both ways. Content providers have been asking for years to be able to block some of the ads on their channel.

    It all seems simple until you start to think about how many advertisers there are out there and how many different types of content Google Adsense permeates. Someday I'm sure we'll see Google go in that direction. But right now it's easier to just cut off a few toes rather than making new shoes that fit.
  • juxt
    974

    Not sure where you're getting the 'not deleting' thing ... they may keep the content on their servers way in the back (who believe's Google ever delete's anything), but the content is no longer available for peon users like me to view.
  • midas
    218
    I've watched the ecig arena closer, but most of the content that's down was taken down by content owner. They are moving to other venues where they can make money.

    Who knows what the heck is really going on. It's just what I've observed.
  • juxt
    974

    I hear you, but the folks Baron mentioned specifically state they've been banned, and some folks here know the vapezone uk folks, etc.

    Greenbox Grown (13,000 subscribers), That High Couple, (28,000 subscribers), GreenGenes Garden (43,000 subscribers), and Canada’s largest cannabis channel, UrbanRemo (190,000 subscribers).Baron23
  • midas
    218
    I don't know. I just know that many that claimed they were banned forgot to add, from making money. Time will tell.
  • Baron23
    4.5k
    The story tells the story, first there was London where weed became legalizedBruce

    Oh yeah? We talking London,England ?

    And when did that happen?

    :roll:
  • Baron23
    4.5k
    no mate,not just money. Their channels are no longer up nor accessible.
  • midas
    218
    Like I said, I looked at what they did with the ecig guys. Doesn't matter in the long run. There is money to be made and those guys will find an outlet.
  • metalmancpa
    94
    YouTube is protecting their bottom line by disassociation guided by there advertisers - is that what you are insinuating? Absolutely believable. Probably not a great analogy, but look what happened to the great Tiger Woods product (himself) once his story came out. Advertisers ran and he lost a ton of money in the process. The advertisers didn't want to be associated with "that guy".

    But this is different. This has a much more expansive ripple effect, and touches and affects many more peoples bottom lines. Those legitimately utilizing the YouTube platform to get exposure get pushed away, and sadly we are talking about a legitimate industry just beginning to explode. I believe in the end it will be YouTube that loses the most money with this current stance.
  • seaofgreens
    69
    I've slowly seen them shut down most of the "weed-tubers" I had subscribed to. I want to say 9 bigger ones so far. Not demonetized videos. Channel is taken down for violations and not coming back. It keeps happening, and I see a new one or two every week, so I am fairly sure the rest will slowly get banned over the next couple months. Just depends when they get discovered by the wrong eyes. It is quite a bummer! I derived a lot of information and enjoyment from the various weed personalities on youtube. I guess the money has spoken, and weed is not to be included. They even banned Leafly for cris sake!
  • midas
    218
    I don't think your analogy is that far off. The problem with corporate America is that the people at the top only worry about today. They don't want to be the one responsible for losing the Pepsi or Chevy advertising account. By the time this decision starts to cause Youtube to lose money those execs will be long gone and on to their next big paycheck.

    Beside, if everyone moves to Pornhub or Veemo, Google will just buy them when the tide turns.
  • ChlorophyllMan
    198
    Got to respect Vapelife X, he made a really lovely tribute to one of YouTube's recent victims: https://youtu.be/N4aiPVyeUUU
    It's time to stand together :100:
  • Baron23
    4.5k
    Got to respect Vapelife X,ChlorophyllMan

    I do, actually. I like his content and delivery.

    I may not share his level of affection for 420vapezone and Troy, but I do share his contempt of YouTube for pulling down all of this content.
  • Rockytdogg
    1.3k

    I agree.

    And then there were three.... (VC, SP & VLX)

    Who’s getting axed next?

    I’ll put my money on VLX....
  • Trix
    206
    Very cool of X to do a tribute video
  • VapeCritic
    7k
    For some weird reason I don't feel like the same would be done for me :chin:

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
  • Baron23
    4.5k
    I dunno...X is pretty chill and doesn't seem to be in the midst of all of the interpersonal critic stuff.

    NO SELF-PITY ALLOWED!! LOL
  • ChlorophyllMan
    198
    Pretty sure he would dude!
  • To the Cloud
    239
    Youtube has been screwing with everyone. Most influencers have been having Youtube move in on them and jack move their money for them. Facebook is making a move on this turf. Unfortunately there is not a chance in hell they will allow pot especially with the recent Facebook drama. https://techcrunch.com/2018/05/18/facebook-creator-search/
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment