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.