Youtube has turned its back on creators who post cannabis-related content. For the past month they have been cracking down by suspending or disabling numerous accounts that focus on cannabis or cannabis related content with little warning. Many creators are being blindsided.
From educational videos, to seed banks, to grow shops, established brands like Leafly to vloggers The High Couple, and even channels that have been uploading without a hitch since 2008 - all are being “terminated due to multiple or severe violations.” Youtube provided no specific explanations for their recent spree of terminations. So far appeals by creators have gone either un-answered or answered with regurgitated policy.
By their own policies Youtube flags or removes videos that have ‘harmful or dangerous content.’ Hard drug use has been deemed, by Youtube, to encourage dangerous or illegal activities and therefore falls under the umbrella of ‘harmful or dangerous content’. While many states in the US have legalized cannabis, it is still considered here as a ‘hard drug’ because of its Schedule I designation on the federal level. Despite all that, “a video that depicts dangerous acts may be allowed if the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic (EDSA), and it isn’t gratuitously graphic.” In other words, a video may be allowed if it is properly contextualized. However, even cannabis channels that focus on education, do not feature any person smoking, and provide lengthy disclaimers at the beginning of their videos are being taken down. While the official policy seems to allow for a large gray area on content, Youtube’s actions suggest otherwise.
The tides of change in the cannabis narrative are here: a record number of Americans support cannabis, numerous states have made medical cananbis use legal (some even recreationally so), and calls for re-Scheduling cannabis on the federal level are the loudest they have ever been with many congressmen spearheading the proposition. So why is Youtube standing in the face of that change? Some suggest it is because Youtube can no longer make ad revenue from these channels after last years “Adpocalypse,’ though this is just speculation.
Youtube has yet to respond in any significant manner to their systematic suspension of channels with cannabis content. As of now, many terminated channels wait on bated breath for their livelihoods to be reinstated.
Two Youtubers who clued in early to Youtube’s crack down unveiled plans for an alternative to Youtube: WeedTube. Released within this past month, the site is full of cannabis content without the strikes, suspensions, or lack of transparency.
Visit Weedtube: here.
For more information about Youtube’s crack down: here