BMH Online


Day 8,

This morning (8th December 2023), I ventured over to Youtube to have a scroll (as I have been doing most days up until this point), but I was presented with this:

My immediate thought was that this was another step in Youtube's efforts to penalise people who use ad-blockers, since they have been throwing up various messages recently. But then I saw that I was signed out. Weird, because I'm always signed in.

At the same time I was in the process of having a quick glance at the email account that I use for receiving comments on videos, and here I had three messages from Youtube waiting for me, their titles being quite ominous, but also amusing (I was laughing many a "What...?!" by this point:

- Monetization is suspended for your channel [I've never received a penny]
- Brian, we have removed your channel...
- YouTube removed your content

I glanced over each message in turn. The first one repeated the initial message, referring to non-compliance with their Partner Program Policies, so I was still assuming it was an ad-blocking issue since I haven't actually uploaded any videos to Youtube for some months (like, June).

As I read on I came to realise it was perhaps something to do with copyright notices; occasionally my videos had included copyrighted music (sometimes accidentally, but sometimes obviously in the cases of me playing along to music on my guitar). I thought I would just have to go in and rectify this (the notices I've seen before generally just state the video in question would be demonetised).

However, the third email this morning specified the video and the claim; it was one of "The Unibomber Manifesto" parts (there are eight), and it was being claimed that the content "violates our violent criminal organizations policy."

("team" includes, and generally means their automated system).

The thing is, these were uploaded to Youtube in 2021, and this is about part three (why this specific one I don't know at this point). These aren't my words in this video but a reading of a document written by Ted Kaczynski and published in a supplement to The Washington Post newspaper in 1995 [Wikipedia].

Incidentally, after more than 25 years at a maximum security facility, and by now 81 years old, Ted (reportedly) committed suicide in a federal prison medical center earlier this year (2023), where he had been transferred due to suffering from late-stage cancer [link].

Of course I'm aware that Youtube employs automated systems to weed out "harmful" content, and there have been many instances of "mistakes" being made and Youtubers having their accounts suspended in a similar fashion to this. It's clearly a stupid system. Either that, or it's working exactly as intended... Why this situation has arisen now for me I don't know; perhaps someone flagged my content and Youtube's systems went to work on it.

Reading through that final message I can actually accept that my reading perhaps "glorified" the original document, such as through my reading style. I also agree with much that I read in the Manifesto. I also accept that there was perhaps a lack of "sufficient and appropriate context... where the purpose of posting [was] made clear." While I can't presently access those original uploads to see what I put specifically in the video's descriptions, the pieces were simply titled "Brian reads... 'The Unabomber Manifesto...'" and I had put something in the video description pertaining to the same; if someone clicked on that video without knowing what it was, then... yes, who knows. But this is the case with many videos on the platform: the thumbnail or title present something we don't know what they're referring to and we click out of curiosity (an explanation, in this case, is easily available on Wikipedia).

I've grown to dislike the Youtube platform for a variety of reasons. Its stance on freedom of speech is one - in the early days it seemed the platform was open for anyone and everyone to post anything and everything, but then their Policies became more and more over-reaching. During Covid there was much toeing the government/WHO lines regarding related topics. They've also shifted the goal-posts on monetisation to the point where I wasn't expecting to ever monetise my channel. And this year, with their attempted clamp-down on the use of Ad-blockers.

For this reason I'm tempted to just leave my account and its content gone from Youtube; as I said, I haven't uploaded anything for months, and it's not like I have suddenly stopped receiving money from Youtube, but perhaps getting things reinstated might involve just a few clicks. [It seems not; each of the many links in their communications seem to point only to information about their policies, rather than a simple 'Click here to resolve this issue'.

Further more, the final email from Youtube states that I previously received a warning for content on my channel and that they're not giving me another strike, hence the removal of the content (my entire channel) from YouTube. This is actually wrong (unless they mean these three emails this morning). 1) I have not received any such warnings prior to today (unless it is referring to the few copyright strikes - but this seems separate to those, which the system ultimately allowed). 2) Stating what I have received is not the same as stating what they have sent; they could have sent messages and I not received them, although this appears unlikely since this email account pretty much only receives messages from Youtube and such warnings should be made visible in the Youtube Creator's account also, not that I can access that right now.

Further down the email it states "To have this warning expire in 90 days, you can take a quick policy training." Basically, to teach me, like a child, where I have done wrong, except, the words in the Manifesto are not my own. I've heard of other Youtubers doing this "training", and it also reminds me of Jordan Peterson's "re-education" ("media training order"). I am not a child. Plus, if this is only a "warning" then why is my channel and its content removed? And, what restrictions would I experience for these 90 days?

Further laughs are further down "We want to help you stay on YouTube..." Good job.

Anyway, I have responded with the following:

The video was uploaded in 2021 and was a reading of part of a publicly available document that was published as a supplement to The Washington Post newspaper in 1995 ( If the video in question is no longer suitable for Youtube it can be removed.

A better written introduction should suffice, beyond this I only regret having recorded these in my silly reading voice, which have received criticism; I wasn't taking the reading of this document all that seriously at the time, although I do have a serious interest in what is talked about. I have now uploaded The Unabomber Manifesto recordings to Rumble, you can find the eight parts [here]. Thankfully, since the content is really only audio the files are relatively small and only take a short while to upload on my slow internet.

The other issue that remains, which is primarily why I would like to reinstate my channel, is the BriTube content (I only created the section earlier this year), even though this is largely just all old content. I've been meaning to both start afresh on Rumble, and of late I've been choosing to watch content on Rumble where creators upload only there or to both.

I often wondered if/when I might be penalised for my content on Youtube (as I have been elsewhere), but like others the approach to target old content is the curious factor. I put it down to a case of creeping normality; whereby something was once deemed acceptable, but now, deemed not. The swastika is a case in point and comes to mind...

Less than 30 minutes after I submitted my response to Youtube, they sent me this:

I guess that's it then. Thanks Youtube, nice knowing you! Wishing you all the best for 2024!