Posted in: Op-ed
Published:
December 25, 2019 3:45 PM UTC

YouTube’s Crypto Xmas Purge is a Tactically Evil Powerplay

As the world slept on Christmas Eve, YouTube was busy enacting a mass deletion of cryptocurrency videos from its platform. The purge is here.

  • YouTube mass deletes cryptocurrency videos suddenly and without warning.
  • Tactical timing over the Christmas holidays suggests the social media sought to minimize outrage and pushback.
  • This could be a pre-emptive proxy attack by Google in its quest to make a move into the finance industry.

While the world slept on Christmas Eve, the YouTube team was busy carrying out a mass deletion of cryptocurrency videos.

Numerous content creators in the cryptocurrency space were issued with community guideline strikes which judged their videos as “harmful or dangerous content”. Masses of crypto videos were unceremoniously deleted in one fell swoop.

The timing of YouTube’s coordinated attack on the cryptocurrency space betrays part of its motive. By striking at the cryptocurrency space during the busiest time of the year, YouTube apparently hoped to minimize any pushback.

Any notion that YouTube wants to work with its users to resolve its problems can be put safely to bed. Rather, this pre-emptive strike on the crypto world may be YouTube’s first step in removing a competitor from its turf.

YouTube Deletes Swathes of Cryptocurrency Videos

The first sign that something was amiss came on Dec. 23 when YouTuber Chico Crypto’s channel was hit with numerous community strikes. Chico Crypto, real name Tyler Swope, maintained that his videos didn’t violate YouTube’s guidelines.

YouTuber Chico Crypto was hit with numerous strikes and deletions on Dec. 23. | Source: @ChicoCrypto, Twitter
The subject matter of the deleted videos is no different to that found on crypto, and mainstream news sites, every day. | Source: @ChicoCrypto, Twitter

Indeed, the titles of the videos listed above run the gamut of everyday news articles, research pieces and opinions typically found in the crypto space. Not to mention the often more sensational mainstream media.

Later that night, another cryptocurrency YouTuber, Chris Dunn, was hit with the same sudden mass deletion. Dunn, who has garnered 211,000 subscribers, was also deemed to have engaged in the “sale of regulated goods”.

Chris Dunn, who has 211k followers, also had dozens of videos deleted. | Source: @ChrisDunnTV, Twitter

Then, on Christmas Eve, another YouTuber with over 200,000 subscribers, Ivan on Tech, went down. Like Chico Crypto and Chris Dunn, Ivan on Tech was banned from uploading to YouTube for one week.

Ivan on Tech, who also has 211k followers, received his own strikes on Christmas Eve. | Source: @IvanOnTech, Twitter

YouTube has offered no additional explanation at this time. In search of a reason why it would strike at the crypto space without warning, we land on a Google press announcement from last month…

Google Wants to Crush Competition

Google’s plans to push further into the banking space were met with deep cynicism by the media in November. Its plan to open up a checking account service was seen as a tactical first step in securing a spot in the finance sector.

That’s on top of the proliferation of the Google Pay app, which trebled its monthly user base to 67 million leading into 2019.

Cryptocurrency may still be young and relatively toothless, but its presence on the world stage must be a thorn in the side of Silicon Valley’s mega-corporations.

Not only do corporations lose the custom of cryptocurrency users, they also lose something more valuable – their data. It has been suggested that Google is really attempting to crack the “banking data” industry, rather than the banking industry.

If that really is the case, then it’s easy to see why Google would launch this proxy attack through YouTube. Personal data is the one thing that blockchains don’t require; cryptocurrencies in a time of big data collection, become a threat to the corporations.

Community Rallies Around Threat

Despite the doom and gloom, YouTube’s attack on crypto had the unintended result of bringing the community together.

Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), suggested the blockchain community should attempt to build its own censorship resistant social media platform.

Binance founder, CZ, sent out a call for a censorship resistant social media built on blockchain. Many already exist in some form. | Source: @cz_binance, Twitter

Despite past grievances, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin seconded CZ’s suggestion. While Bitcoin.com’s Executive Chairman, Roger Ver, also showed up to mark his approval with a ‘like’.

This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.

Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:40 PM UTC

Greg Thomson @@gregthomson88

Greg Thomson is a blockchain and cryptocurrency journalist who wades through the dirt so you don't have to. He contributed to numerous crypto news outlets before joining CCN.com and Hacked in 2018. Based in Glasgow, Scotland.

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