Last Saturday on my latest video someone commented along the lines of “This channel has gone downhill and should be shut down. The allotment is full of weeds.”
As I was returning home on Monday my phone binged “A comment has been left on your YouTube video”. It was 5:30pm. I read the comment, it was positive and I started making dinner. At 5:45pm I receive an email from YouTube…
“Your channel was terminated because we determined that it was linked to a channel that was found to be in violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service. A notification that your channel was terminated was sent to the email address associated with your terminated YouTube channel. We are concerned that some of the information within this legal request may be fraudulent. As a result, your YouTube account has been terminated. If you believe that all of the information you provided in this legal request was accurate, please respond with an explanation.”
I clicked the Appeals button and informed them I had no idea that any channel was linked to my gardening youtube channel and had not issued any legal requests. There was no response until the following morning.
Tuesday, 1:24am and I receive a response saying: “Your channel was suspended for submitting abusive legal requests.” Again, I submitted an Appeal asking what exactly had happened and questioning whether someone had gained access to my account and done something pretending to be myself. There was silence for the rest of the day.
The day was spent talking to lots of creators seeking advice, especially from those channels who had experienced similar situations. I tweeted the YouTube team and the response was quicker. I set up a reddit thread seeking advice.
Tuesday, 11:47pm an email arrives: “I understand that this is certainly a big deal and I’d like to give your channel another inspection. I raised this issue as well to our internal team and when I hear from them regarding this, I’ll circle back to you.”
That was the last official correspondence I received. I felt that I was going around in circles. 10 years of making videos disappeared in an instance. Why? I still have no idea.
Wednesday 1am I decide it’s time to catch up on sleep. Before I closed the computer habit made me go and look at the channel. It was there. The videos were back. The channel was back. I checked my email to see what had happened, no email. I check my Twitter, no tweet.
At 2:16am I receive the following tweet from YouTube: “Update! Our team has re-reviewed your channel and is now reinstated. Appreciate your patience while we looked into this for you.”
I respond asking for clarity about the situation. How did it happen? What was the issue? Their response: “While we can’t share specifics, you may want to take a look at our Help Center article to know more on why your channel can be terminated: (link: http://yt.be/help/KcLN) Hope this clarifies.”
Since then no further communication, but my channel is back.
Throughout this I received lots of advice and good wishes from viewers and creators. I set up a new channel and thanks to the video appeals by Alan Jackson (https://www.youtube.com/user/49Jackos) and Tony C Smith (https://www.youtube.com/user/StarShipSofa) the new channel has generated nearly 1,000 subscribers. Over on Twitter there were supportive tweets from television presenter Christine Walkden (https://twitter.com/ChristineWalkd), ‘The Autistic Gardener’ Alan Gardner (https://twitter.com/autisticgardner), Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins (https://twitter.com/cmcollins_hort), The Skinny Jean Gardener Lee (https://twitter.com/SkinnyJeanGard) and BBC Weather presenter/host of BBC Gardeners’ Question Time Peter Gibbs (https://twitter.com/PeterGWeather). On Facebook there was The Veg Grower Podcast (https://www.facebook.com/Theveggrowerpodcast/), Dave’s Allotment (https://www.facebook.com/Daves-Allotment-489893344503114/),Jane’s Allotment (https://www.facebook.com/groups/446486995806305/) and to all the supporters who posted in various allotment and gardening groups.
I will keep this new channel online just in case anything else happens to my gardening channel over the coming weeks.
This whole experience has been unnerving. Not only videos disappeared but also my income, vanished in a click. This has been a hard lesson of not pulling all your eggs in one basket.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support during this very stressful situation. Your words of encouragement have meant a lot and gave me the inspiration to keep going. Thank you.
Let’s stay in touch
This has highlighted that contact with you just disappeared without warning. Please take a few minutes to sign up to my newsletter which I sent out about once a month with news of what is happening in-and-out of the garden. You’ll find the box on the right hand side of this page titled ‘Subscribe to Blog via Email‘. Let’s stay in contact in another way outside of YouTube – just in case it happens again.
Am now in the process of download all my videos, nearly 1,000 of them.
Now, time for a cuppa tea.