YouTube is cutting cannabis content. But you can still learn how to build bombs, so don’t worry.
It doesn’t make any sense, yet it isn’t all that surprising. YouTube has been taking down popular cannabis accounts over the past couple weeks with no explanation whatsoever. Some accounts had millions of subscribers, and were still taken down without any notice.
You may not be a big YouTube watcher, but millions of people are. Add to that the billions of views that the platform’s videos get on a daily basis, and you get a massive online community with varying opinions, ideologies and the chaos that comes along with it.
Social platforms haven’t been known to manage their communities in the best way — just look at Twitter or FaceBook — but YouTube has taken it to a new level.
Cannabis content creators have faced their share of issues in the past, but mostly with resolve. A video would be taken down, they would appeal, and it would later be put back up. If it made it to the extreme of an entire channel being taken down, even then it could be appealed rather easily.
YouTube supposedly runs on a “strike” system, consisting of three strikes for channels. The first strike bans the channel from live-streaming for 90 days, the second prohibits the channel from posting content, and the third strike is channel removal. Yet, for these accounts that have been removed as of late, there were no strikes.
The issue with this is two-fold. Many people rely on YouTube cannabis channels for information, news updates, and other cannabis related issues they can’t find elsewhere due to its already negative stigma. With these channels removed, people are losing valuable information which can have dangerous consequences.
We all know how the D.A.R.E. program worked out. It is better to teach about safe and controlled, legal drug use than to hide the facts about them and tell them to “just say no”.
The second problem comes when YouTube has taken these channels down with no strikes, no warnings, and no explanation. This sets a dangerous precedent when a global giant like YouTube can pick and choose what content it allows without explaining its reasoning.
While YouTube has every right to restrict certain content (as they should), it makes no sense that the most popular cannabis content creators on YouTube who have built massive, overwhelmingly positive and vibrant communities would be removed while channels showing how to make pipe bombs stay active.
The Future of YouTube
It would actually almost make sense if YouTube’s reasoning was that of safety concerns. I get it, some of those YouTubers take some huge dabs that would knock out a normal person. So take down all the videos of people chugging bottles of whiskey too, because that’s way more dangerous.
Maybe their explanation will be that it isn’t federally legal, so take down the other accounts that inform people on the safe use of LSD, or DMT or Psilocybin. Oh wait, but they didn’t.
So as we wait to hear which accounts might be un-banned and why they were banned in the first place, we should all be wondering what this means. If YouTube can take down content without any explanation and there is no backlash, it will only continue. The channels that don’t YouTube enough money might be next, then the channels that have an opinion they disagree with.
People need these cannabis YouTube channels. They inform, teach, enlighten, inspire, and connect the cannabis community through an online platform that was built on creativity and innovation. Don’t let YouTube start going backward.