10 Open letter to YouTube

Cover for Open letter to YouTube

On November 2nd 2017 I was notified that FastestLaps YouTube account was suspended due to "spam, scams or commercially deceptive content". 10 minutes later I submitted appeal which was rejected the next day.

Since none of my videos deal with commercial matters, we can disregard "scams or commercially deceptive content" and reduce the statement to "suspended because of spam".

Fastestlaps.com channel is nearly as old as YouTube itself and I used it mostly to upload personal videos. In 2017 I decided to use it for Fastestlaps.com content exclusively.

This new content was motorsports and industry commentary videos (5-6 videos), track onboard videos (4 - 7 videos) and car release trailers (~5 videos).

My motorsports commentary videos did not contain race footage and were appropriately titled as "post race" videos, not to be mistaken for actual race footage. They did not contain any links, as far as I remember.

Onboard videos were either given to me by representatives of car manufacturers or downloaded from press releases - they are meant to be uploaded and shared, more than a dozen channels are doing exactly that. These videos did contain one or two links to relevant Fastestlaps.com track or lap time page.

Car launch trailers also were downloaded with press releases from the manufacturer's media websites. Launch trailers did contain a single link to the relevant car profile page on Fastestlaps.com.

None of the videos had deceptive thumbnail pictures or metadata. My channel did not have any copyright or Community Guidelines strikes.

According to YouTube Community Guidelines "spam" is defined as: "large amounts of untargeted, unwanted, or repetitive content in videos, comments, private messages, or other places on the site. If the main purpose of your content is to drive people off of YouTube and onto another site, it will likely violate our spam policies".

My videos were not "large amounts" as there were no more than 20 uploaded in 2017, they were targeted because they were all on-topic, they were wanted (whatever that means), they were not repetitive, and gained more traffic from Fastestlaps.com then sent to Fastestlaps.com, because I used them as embeds in my articles.

Given the above I can't think of any reason for termination and YouTube won't tell me. Therefore, I can only speculate. Perhaps it was malicious flagging by a competitor or the fact that one of my videos was particularly opinionated and certain car manufacturer did not like what I had to say.

The great loss in this is not the channel - it's the older 200+ videos which are of great value to me and likely lost forever.

For YouTube staff and Google I have two questions:

1) Is it fair that a long time user after 10 years of content creation can't be given a single warning and a single e-mail conversation with a human being at the YouTube support, but, instead, is terminated instantly like a systematic abuser or bot account?

2) Is there any reason to maliciously prevent users from downloading their own videos from suspended channels? Spammers know what they are doing and have a copy of everything they are uploading, the only ones hurt by this is real users.

Google will be first in line to collect your data wherever and whenever it can, but when it comes to you asking for some of it back, you may not be given anything. This is unethical, if not outright illegal.

As a long time Google shareholder and one of the first Google AdSense partners in my country, I am disappointed with the way YouTube is mistreating its users and user data. It takes long time to build trust, but once it's broken you may never get it back.

4m ago by FastestLaps
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cosimo  3m ago

freedom ? lol


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FED  4m ago

Hello, I’m in a similar situation. The problem is that they use some system to find brand new YouTube channels (even with new google accounts) and they terminate those, too. I’ve has a wave of terminations. I’m exasperated.


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FastestLaps  3m ago

Well, there you have YouTube - a preview of post-AI-apocalyptic world where (wrong) decisions are made by bots and you have no way of reaching another human being that could answer for their actions.

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FastestLaps  4m ago

Great news - after some thorough searching I found backups for most (or nearly all) of the old "family archive" videos I had in that account. I was actually seriously prepared to hack YouTube to get them back - in fact I was kinda trying to do it already, assuming that the restriction on downloading YouTube backup was enforced only on client side, as I could still download backups for my other channels.

Now whether they reinstate the channel or not is completely of no significance to me. If it says suspended, that will in no way affect FastestLaps.com and it will not affect my ability to upload to YouTube - I can create new channels and new G Accounts in seconds. In other words - If they break their own rules, why should I or anyone else follow them?

Reinstate or not reinstate is up to them and whether they want to show that they do care a little bit about their users or not.


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cosimo  4m ago

youtool don't care about you or nobody else, all they care about is da money, yes, the money ethan show it to me!!

you got sheit content that runs over 10 mins is what they are looking for, otherwise they will suspend your account automatically and blacklist you like black folks in the land of free and claim you're living on land where you can experience freedom naked or without clothes is your choice, cause the truth is you're living in a controlled jail with some dope and booze to keep you busy, until you cross the line and they put you on the electric chair and invite some old dying folks from kansas city to sit infront of you inside a closed school hall and enjoy seeing you die while pissing yourself and pooping not knowing when will that 2,000 volts will strike you.

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hostboy  4m ago @cosimo

Two words: CAPITALISM.

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mrft  4m ago @cosimo

10 minutes eh? cough adrevenue cough

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cosimo  4m ago

someone must have reported you guys about supporting vag group from behind the iron curtain and funding the natz_iiis all over europe and murica

if you're looking for sympathy, look elsewhere, this is a tough world full of retards, idiots, hypocrites, terroristas and materialistic youtubers

you wanna be loved by everyone, you post something like this



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jjoconnor  4m ago

That's unfortunate to hear. As you probably know, YouTube is going into s**t recently with the ads boycott. As far as I'm concerned, it's a dying platform which will become obsolete unless they make it fair and reasonable to genuine creators.


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FastestLaps  4m ago

YouTube, Twitter and Facebook - the old legacy media going full steam towards the cliff of political correctness, censorship and pandering to big corporations and big brands.

The world wants free platform where thoughtful and edgy content is allowed. Only things that are illegal should be censored - child and animal abuse, extreme violence (ISIS videos) etc. Not some guy in Latvia saying that he doesn't think the Honda Civic Nurb record was a real record :D


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fakekillerfour 11m 

added data for Ferrari 488 Pista

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EmperorTezla 1h 

for the 1/4 mile

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