If you subscribe to the Vape Guide YouTube Channel or other marijuana channels, you may have noticed a mysterious and disturbing trend: many of these marijuana-related channels, including ours, are being removed.
These channels are taken down with little to no warning, and any appeals and questions by the channel owners are met with automated responses that do nothing to explain the situation. As a result, no one really knows why these cannabis related videos are being deleted. At the moment, all anyone can do is speculate and try to find alternate ways to get their message out to their loyal viewers.
How the Marijuana YouTube Channel Crackdown Started and Who is Affected
The weed channel crackdown started in April, when many creators of vaping and other cannabis related content started receiving notices that their content was being flagged for review. Other channels would simply receive strikes and they would often get a follow-up strike without even knowing what the previous strike was about. These channels were deleted soon after, and any questions and protests were met with the vague indifference of an automated response.
I don’t speak for everyone but I can say that, in my opinion, TVG and other channels like The High Couple did not violate YouTube’s rules regarding sexually explicit, violent, or hateful content, nor did they violate their rules about spam and fraud. The channels affected hosted educational or entertainment oriented videos about cannabis culture or vaping. Some, like ours, were offering reviews of vaporizers, while other channels, like GreenGenes Garden, hosted videos about different marijuana strains. Others, like Canada based Urbanremo, featured lifestyle videos of cannabis culture around the world.
What makes the cancellations so frustrating is their inconsistency. Some cannabis-related channels were shut down while others were not. Some channels were restored while others were not. Clearly, no one who’s had their weed-related YouTube channel taken down wishes that fate on anyone else, but they would like to know why their channel was affected when someone else’s wasn’t.
Possible Reasons for the Weed Channel Takedowns
Some of you might have heard about YouTube’s infamous “Adpocalypse” that occurred in 2017. This was when several advertisers realized that their commercials were playing before videos that they considered harmful to their brand. This lead to many of these companies pulling their ad revenue from YouTube, which resulted in lower profits for YouTube.
After this happened, YouTube attempted to appease advertisers by changing their rules regarding offensive content. They also altered their algorithms so that ads would no longer be played before videos that might be deemed inappropriate for the brand. They also started to more closely monitor content to make sure that it didn’t violate their community guidelines. It would seem that now cannabis-related content is a violation of those guidelines because that was the message many weedtubers were receiving before their channels got deleted or suspended.
Another possible reason is that YouTube doesn’t want to seem that they are promoting the marijuana industry. There was a similar purge of gun and firearm related videos earlier in the year. The reason given for that was that the video-sharing site did not want content promoting the sale or manufacture of firearms and firearm accessories. Perhaps they had a similar problem with marijuana despite the fact that it’s becoming more accepted across the country.
Since YouTube is no longer a safe haven for many weed-friendly vloggers, they have had to find alternative ways of sharing their videos with their loyal viewers. Many have migrated to Instagram where they do not have to worry about advertisers. Others, like us, have departed to other video sharing sites like Vimeo. Some have started using the video game streaming site Twitch, and others are even hosting their videos on PornHub.
Meanwhile, other more enterprising YouTubers have started hosting their videos on Theweedtube.com, a video sharing site dedicated to weed and weed culture. These alternatives may not have the huge name recognition of YouTube, but they offer more freedom.
What is Next for the Deleted YouTube Weed Channels?
The content creators that have not yet found a new venue for their output have no choice but to keep appealing their strikes.They have to hope that they eventually get a response or that their channels get restored. Regardless of what happens to their content, the creators and viewers of these channels are owed an explanation by YouTube as to why their videos were affected by the company’s increasingly obscure policies.
Simply kicking YouTubers out without explanation just makes the situation hard on everyone since no one will know how, or if, they need to alter their content to meet YouTube’s guidelines. Once those grievances are addressed, the creators will finally know if they will ever be accepted back into YouTube. Or whether they will even want to go back to YouTube.