A protest movement is gathering momentum against cannabis censorship imposed by YouTube, the social media site that allows people and groups to upload videos and create their own channels.
In recent weeks, and virtually without notice, YouTube has closed many online cannabis-related video channels, ranging from information and communication news media to important seeds banks and even personal YouTube accounts.
Many of these groups have been hosting YouTube channels for years and have hundreds of uploads with which to contend. Many of them are now being forced to create their own “.tv” websites, eg. marihuanatelevision.tv, or moving their programming over to Vimeo, a smaller but better quality video platform. You can use this link to send a protest tweet to YouTube. The statement below was released by a group of YouTube participants who have lost access to the website.
YouTube has closed many cannabis-related accounts, ranging from information and communication news media to important seeds banks and even the personal accounts of YouTubers.
Information and educational channels such as Marihuana Television, UndergrowTv or Lamarihuana, seeds banks such as Dinafem Seeds, Delicious Seeds or Bhudda Seeds, or grow shop channels such as PevGrow or Growbarato have disappeared.
Cannabis YouTubers like BorisPetis or That Weed Couple have had to protect their accounts by posting their videos privately, after seeing how some of them were deleted and receiving notice of possible closure.
In the Netherlands, the accounts of Dutch Passion and Royal Queen Seeds, in Canada Pot TV, Urban Remo or Lex Lounge (Lex Blazer), and in the United States the channel of the journalist Charlo Greene, Humboldt Seeds Organization, Loaded Up, Vadervision or Grow420guide have been banned, among others.
Infringements on YouTube policies, spam or practices and deceptive content are some of the supposed reasons that YouTube gives for these closures. But none of those affected have received a specific response from the video platform itself about the reason for this indiscriminate censorship, and the only answer to appeals is with automatic replies.
Most channels non-commercial, use age restrictions
Most of these channels were using age restrictions, did not monetize their videos (which is prohibited because of the cannabis content), and they had not breached any of the YouTube community rules: there is no violence, no nudity, no offensive language, no promotion of weapons or drugs. Only information, education and personal experiences about the plant — a medicinal, ancestral plant that still seems taboo to many–are provided.
Videos of cannabis news, cultivation, plants, trips, events, interviews with users, growers and experts … All censored at once. Why?
Many of these channels have spent years reporting and educating about the cannabis plant on a platform where freedom of expression was their mission. But it is clear that YouTube wants no part of it.