Youtube creators are shut out
Video streaming is so popular, that Youtube and Netflix account for over 70% of peak internet traffic in the U.S. Billions of people watch Youtube creators every day. The sheer volume made Google purchase Youtube for $1.65 billion in 2006.
The company grows and thrives off user-created content. Many Youtube creators made fortunes off the site by attracting millions, then billions of views. Even small creators could earn enough money to support themselves by catering to a niche.
But recent trouble with advertisers is hurting the community Youtube works so hard to cultivate. Known as the “Adpocolypse” because of the size of the exodus, many longtime creators can no longer support themselves on the platform. In response to the lost revenue, Youtube has had to implement significant changes to their algorithms and updated their terms of service.
Youtube is shutting down an increasing number of marijuana accounts
Despite their best efforts, the ad revenue has not returned to pre-Adpocolypse levels. So Youtube has slowly increased the number of accounts they take action against. This includes demonetizing videos, removing content and shutting down accounts.
Cannabis based content is the most recent community sacrificed to the altar of capital. Since marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug, Google can’t advertise next to it without making special accommodations. So they are simply cutting those channels out of their network with little to no warning.
By giving no warning, the ensure the creators cannot send their viewers to alternative platforms. Unfortunately for longtime creators like CustomGrow420, Jorge Cervantes and StrainCentral, they are no longer welcome on Youtube. There is little any creator can legally do about it either.
The marijuana community is confused
Unlike previous changes, this one didn’t come with a press release or a warning. Accounts in good standing for years and with millions of followers are suddenly gone, with only a vague email about enforcing community guidelines. Even massive companies like Leafly got hit with the ban hammer.
The most frustrating part about this is that the enforcement of community guidelines get applied unevenly. There are tons of videos that break the community guidelines without suffering an instant dismissal. Not only that, but some cannabis channels remain active while others simply disappear in the blink of an eye.
Youtube still hasn’t made a statement about the reason or method behind the recent culling. Creators wait with baited breath for any word on what can keep their channels alive. But they may want to start looking for a new home sooner rather than later.
Finding a new home might be hard
Other communities need to relocate relocate after leaving Youtube. Pro gun channels ended up hosting their content on Pornhub before the site updated their terms of service and sent them packing again. Cannabis might get similar treatment if the new site feels the migration is damaging to their brand or bottom line.
Instagram and Vimeo are strong contenders for the move. They might not like the idea of hosting the worlds cannabis community and kick them off the same way Pornhub did with the gun community. In the end, people looking to make marijuana content will likely have to create their own hub.