YouTube Shutting Down Weed Channels While Using It to Make a Profit

By Kaitlyn M.
YouTube has been shutting down marijuana-themed channels recently but are they doing it to hide the fact that they are making a profit off of weed?

Social media platforms don’t have the best relationship with marijuana. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook have been taking down cannabis related content for several years now. Unfortunately, it seems that another major platform is doing the same thing.

YouTube Striking Down Marijuana Related Channels

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Over the last few weeks, there have been many channels who showcase marijuana who have had strikes against them or had their channels removed completely. It has been up in the air as to the exact reason for some because their videos didn’t seem to violate any of YouTubes guidelines. But according to one of my favorite YouTubers, he says that unfortunately, these channels may have violated the guidelines.

Phillip DeFranco is in my opinion, one of the best YouTube channels out there. If you don’t know who he is, you need to. He has The Phillip DeFranco Show where he breaks down major news throughout the week and gives his opinion as well as showcasing the opinions of his subscribers.

In one of his videos last week he was asked to talk about the shut down of many cannabis related channels and he got the dirt on the situation from youtube as well as from the channels themselves.

The channels being shutdown range from educational ones who showcase different types of substances to others who are advocates for marijuana. They also range is subscriber count- from 100,000 all the way to 1.5 million subscribers.

One of the more recent shutdowns was Coral Reefer, a very popular channel. She received a message from YouTube about the shutdown of her channel.

It said,

YouTube doesn't allow content that encourages or promotes violent or dangerous acts that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death. For example, it's not okay to post videos showing drug use underage drinking and smoking or bomb making. The only depictions of such activities that we may allow need to be educational or documentary in nature and shouldn't be designed to help or encourage others to imitate them.

To me, this message is extremely vague and is hard to tell exactly why they took down her content as well as others. Thankfully, Defranco contacted people at YouTube and a spokesperson for the company released a more detailed statement to him about the shutdown of many channels.

They said, "We prohibit content featuring hard drug use and the sale of related goods and services including drugs and marijuana. We also do not allow content featuring minors engaging in any drug, alcohol or nicotine use."

So does this mean that all the channels were promoting websites that sell or were they selling themselves? Its hard to say, but in his video, DeFranco shows messages from a YouTuber who admitted that they linked to a site that does sell marijuana or marijuana-related goods- but it was a legal site.

Phillip Defranco has made it clear that he is an advocate for marijuana but feels that “YouTube’s hand is being forced here” because of the federal regulations against marijuana.

But, if YouTube is shutting down channels for promoting the sale of marijuana, why are they promoting it themselves?

YouTube Promoting Marijuana Products

While looking for more information on this story, I found an interesting screenshot on Twitter from a user named Rev. Robert R. Ballecer, SJ. The screenshot is plain as day, showing him on YouTube and having an ad pop up for Safety Vision, a cannabis transport surveillance company. The caption he added says, “Interesting... YT is now serving up Cannabis-themed products.”

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And yes, this is extremely interesting since they have been removing channels for promoting cannabis and cannabis-related products. The bottom line is they should be promoting products for the marijuana industry. But not if they are doing it while deleting channels that are getting recognition because they don’t want to be related to that type of content.

There are many channels on YouTube who do reviews of pipes, strains, and much more. One YouTuber who is very in your face about being a pothead is AlondraBravo. She has over 20,000 subscribers and recently did a review of a glass blunt company.

She also links to a site on her video that you can purchase marijuana products from. So, wouldn’t this mean she is breaking the rule? There is also a YouTuber named Hayley420 with over 860,000 subscribers who made a bong out of starbursts.

Hayley didn’t link to a website, but wouldn’t her content be unsuitable according to the deletion of other channels? Just to clarify, I do not want these channels taken down. I love their creativity and think they are witty and brilliant creators who deserve all the love.

But so do creators like Coral Reefer who was not hurting anyone and who did not have a chance to make any changes before YouTube deleted all of her hard work. ‏

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I realize that this has a lot to do with google analytics and what each person looks up and purchases. But they control what shows up on their platform, which means this was not an accident. So what’s going on YouTube? Are you for marijuana, or are you just wanting to profit off of it in the dark when you think no one is watching?

Citations

1. Youtube Suddenly Deleting Channels. Retrieved May 14, 2018 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9Usgx0qofk

2. Cannabis Transport Surveillance. Retrieved May 14, 2018 from http://www.safetyvision.com/cannabis

3. Rev. Robert R. Ballecer, SJ. Retrieved May 14, 2018 from https://twitter.com/padresj/status/995551714727018502

4. Glass Blunt Review: Pot Luck Co. Retrieved May 14, 2018 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sI0n9A3ACQ

5. BONG MADE OF STARBURST!!!. Retrieved May 14, 2018 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pylGSOz6SBA

6. Rahasia Mendapat Dollar Dari Youtube. Retrieved May 14, 2018 from https://www.blogreview.id/rahasia-mendapat-dollar-dari-youtube/

About the author: Kaitlyn M.

Kaitlyn is one of our regular contributors to cover Products and Lifestyle. She's living in the palmy Florida.