Markiplier, one of the most popular creators on YouTube, received the first-ever strike on his channel last week. However, the reason why he received his strike isn’t entirely apparent to the community and likely YouTube itself. To fully understand what happened here, we have to take a look at another creator, MoistCr1TiKaL
MoistCr1TiKaL received a strike for including a viral clip in one of his videos.
Charlie, known as MoistCr1TiKaL or the moist man, recently had one of his videos taken down for violating YouTube’s policies. The clip he was reacting to was a clip of a fake road rage skit involving people dressed up as characters such as Spongebob. Charlie received a strike for the video without any chance to remove the portion of the video. It was then that Charlie noticed Markiplier reacted to the same clip years back in one of his try not to laugh challenge videos. He then called out YouTube on Twitter for its double standard:
While Charlie did receive some backlash for going after Markiplier, he clarified he didn’t want YouTube to give Markiplier a strike but instead expose how inconsistent YouTube’s strike system currently is. Markiplier agreed with Charlie and tweeted at YouTube, asking them where his strike was.
Both Charlie and Markiplier hoped that by calling out YouTube, it would point out their flawed logic in striking Charlie’s video, resulting in them reinstating the video and removing the strike. Instead, YouTube responded in a way no one was expecting them to.
YouTube gave Markiplier his first strike
YouTube decided to double down its decision to strike the fake road rage video and took down Markiplier’s video. He also received his first strike for violating policies.
The response left the community shocked, including Charlie and Markiplier. Charlie tweeted he was “absolutely shocked Youtube is deciding to die on this hill striking even the most wholesome creator on their site rather than admit it was a mistake in the first place.” In his response to the strike on his channel. Markiplier uploaded a video talking about the situation and his thoughts about it. In the video, Markiplier clarified that he isn’t against YouTube’s policies because content needs to be regulated. However, he calls out YouTube’s uneven enforcement of their policies and YouTube’s poor communication in its review process.
It’s also important to note that both Markiplier and Charlie have said their YouTube partner contacts were beneficial and fight very hard for them when it shouldn’t be that difficult. Charlie said that his YouTube representative had trouble contacting someone to handle the review process when trying to sort out this issue.
Markiplier’s video and Charlie’s response tweet garnered a lot of attention. Charlie received more than 140K likes and Markiplier’s video climbed the trending tab on YouTube.
Ultimately, after the outcry, YouTube walked back on its decision. It removed both strikes on Chalie’s and Markiplier’s channel and reinstated the videos. The platform stated after rereviewing the clip that it will remove the strikes and reinstate the videos.
A big problem for smaller creators
In the end, it worked out for Markiplier and Charlie. However, this begs the question: would YouTube have walked back its decision if Markiplier and Charlie weren’t as big on the platform as they are now? Smaller creators do not have the privilege of rallying a vast community to call out YouTube for overenforcement. There are many instances where smaller creators don’t even get an explanation for strikes on their channel.
Additionally, YouTube’s decision to go back and strike a years-old video on Markpilier’s channel without giving him time to address it is troubling. The fact that YouTube’s constantly updating its content guidelines means that a video that may have been okay a few years ago might not be okay now. Creators would receive strikes for years-old videos without any warning. It may even lead to an overnight channel takedown if YouTube finds three videos it no longer deems acceptable. It isn’t very comforting to think about, considering many creators are YouTubers full-time. Livelihoods could end overnight with YouTube’s current system, and the community is hoping to change that, with or without YouTube’s help.
Image courtesy: Markiplier