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Pomp claimed that he had not violated YouTube’s community guidelines, and that his most recent video contained no questionable content.
The 251,000-subscriber channel of Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano, co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital and host of The Pomp Podcast, was removed from YouTube before being restored.
In an Oct. 11 update on his Twitter account, Pompliano — a Bitcoin (BTC) bull known for his interviews educating skeptics and others on crypto — said he received a message from YouTube claiming a recent livestreamed interview with stock-to-flow model creator PlanB encouraged “illegal activities.” Pompliano’s entire channel was unavailable for roughly two hours before being returned to the platform, with all videos on BTC and crypto viewable to the public.
“[YouTube] first stated that the content, an interview on Bitcoin, was harmful and dangerous,” said Pomp. “They then stated that we would receive a strike, but then I received a second email saying the channel was being deleted seconds later.”
According to Pomp, he had received no “strikes” — violations of YouTube’s community guidelines; three strikes within 90 day can result in a channel being permanently removed — and the video seemingly didn’t have any questionable content or otherwise. However, the platform’s guidelines state it has the right to remove channels for “a single case of severe abuse” or for accounts dedicated to content including hate speech, harassment, or impersonation.
YouTube had previously targeted crypto-related content on the platform, with its algorithms labelling videos about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as “harmful content” and leaving it up to human reviewers to determine any grounds for appeal. Pomp, on the other hand, was able to get the attention of YouTube’s support team on Twitter within minutes, thanks to his 1.1 million followers and verified account. Other crypto content creators, on the other hand, have reported waiting days after their channels were similarly terminated.
The apparent arbitrary removal of a major player in the crypto space highlights the risk of relying on a centralised platform like YouTube. Last week, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down for about six hours, likely disrupting community engagement around crypto and blockchain projects.
Furthermore, YouTube has come under fire for attempting to remove videos containing health misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In August, the platform stated that it had removed over one million videos “related to dangerous coronavirus information” since February 2020.