YouTube removes Black Lives Matter fundraising videos for violating platform's policy in move creators call 'deeply confusing'

Videos that collect donations for the Black Lives Matter movement are tagged and removed by YouTube. (Photo: YouTube / Zoe Amira)
The creators on YouTube support the Black Lives Matter movement and enable viewers to donate money to organizations that fight racial injustices without spending a cent out of their own pockets. Since YouTube marked and removed the videos due to suspected violations, the developers question the platform's support.
YouTube, in turn, responded to the removal of videos collected for the Black Lives Matter movement with a blog post explaining the alleged wrongdoing violations and encouraging clicks or views.
The creative idea for collecting donations on YouTube was spearheaded by Zoe Amira, a beauty guru on the platform with a current subscriber count of over 79,300, when she uploaded the one-hour compilation video of art, spoken word, poems, and black songs created by men and women. The video, titled "How To Fund BLM Without Money / Leave Your Home (Invest In The Future FREE OF CHARGE)" promised that Amira would donate all of the earnings from ads that were shown throughout the video to Black Lives Matter and Black Lives Security deposit associated with the matter. Since then, videos of the same kind have been uploaded to YouTube by different creators and removed from the platform, marking the content as "inappropriate".
ZOE AMIRA

@zoeamira
It is here! Donate your time and views to # BlackLivesMatter protest funds. Given the pandemic, I know that opening your wallet to donate to important causes is more difficult than ever. So here you can donate by viewing ads instead! HOW, SHARE, RT
https: // www.
youtube.com/watch?v=bCgLa2
5fDHM
...
3,243
04:29 - May 31, 2020
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3,473 people talk about it
Amira first went on Twitter on May 29 to ask black creatives to share her work with her so that she could include her in a fundraising video that, following protests after George Floyd's death, raised funds for the Minnesota Freedom Fund. She also opened the request to brands or companies that want to sponsor parts of the video for a good cause. Her goal, she wrote, was to have as much content as possible to make the video as long as possible and ultimately have the potential to generate more money.
Related: YouTubers create monetized videos to help protesters
When uploading the video, she explained that she had encountered some copyright issues. Once the video was live, she encouraged people to watch it, and even explained how to ensure that every viewer contributed to the cause.
ZOE AMIRA

@zoeamira
May 31, 2020
It is here! Donate your time and views to # BlackLivesMatter protest funds. Given the pandemic, I know that opening your wallet to donate to important causes is more difficult than ever. So here you can donate by viewing ads instead! HOW, SHARE, RT
https: // www.
youtube.com/watch?v=bCgLa2
5fDHM
...
ZOE AMIRA

@zoeamira
It's included in the video, but make sure you follow these steps to increase your views!
1. Temporarily deactivate your browser ad blocker extensions
2. DO NOT skip the displays
3. Try repeating the video from the playlist if you can!
4. Stream it like an album lol
198
4:37 a.m. - May 31, 2020
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109 people talk about it
Just a day later, on May 31st, YouTuber released an update showing that their account was “tagged” based on the video. The video also became unavailable after it was classified as "potentially mature".
ZOE AMIRA

@zoeamira
It's not just a Tiktok censorship by people ... In this video there is nothing remotely controversial, not even a dirty word in the songs, and yet it was immediately labeled as a restriction / "potentially mature".
91
6:46 PM - May 31, 2020
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The video became visible and monetized again shortly thereafter, but the back and forth continued as Amira updated her followers on Twitter. She even mentioned that many complained about ads to support President Trump, despite trying to block them based on the nature of their content. "Youtubers can't choose which ads to show on their videos, but we can only block certain ads if we get the specific ad link," she tweeted. "I don't know why Trump is targeting and trying to promote black life material videos, but I will NOT have them on my channel." No no no. "
Amira's video had one million views by June 2 and four million views by June 3. For reasons of transparency, she also started posting updates on the earnings that the video generated.
ZOE AMIRA

@zoeamira
UPDATE 3! "How to Donate to BLM Without Money"
1,700
1:58 a.m. - June 5, 2020
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While the video continued to gain popularity, views, and advertising revenue, it was actually removed and replaced twice by YouTube. When people decided to create their own fundraising videos, they had the same problem of having their videos removed, but without YouTube's efforts to replace them.
uhhh so @YouTube seems to have removed the entire BLM stream to donate videos ............. pic.twitter.com/3vNQ6PUtkT
- Lima Bean (@hotadventureday) June 6, 2020
ZOE AMIRA

@zoeamira
It is deeply confusing to me.
My video was removed twice and replaced twice, but an almost exactly similar video is rejected.
https: //
twitter.com/omuriceuyt/sta
tus / 1270041938100658178
...
alice⁷
@omuriceuyt
I think we know where Youtube stands for the BLM movement.
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9:05 p.m. - June 8, 2020
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Amira's video was finally removed on June 10th. She didn't respond to Yahoo Life's request for comment, but said on Twitter that YouTube had committed to donate the same amount to organizations, although the money she had raised from advertising revenue was returned to advertisers of her choice.
ZOE AMIRA

@zoeamira
UPDATE FIVE - BLACK LIVES MATTER FUNDRAISER (probably the most important update)
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8:43 p.m. - June 10, 2020
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Various other videos of the same kind, including those that lived on the Omuriceus channel and another creator's page, Cindy Marshall, were also deleted with YouTube's notice that they were “for violating YouTube’s guidelines on spam and fraudulent practices have been removed and fraud. "These developers didn't get the same answer from YouTube as Amira.
Selena Trevino, a 24-year-old YouTube creator, tells Yahoo Life that after she was made aware of the potential for removal of her own fundraising video, before the June release, she made sure it wasn't against community guidelines offends 7.
“As with all of my videos, I made sure that the video was well presented with information and / or resources. Basically, I made sure that this is not just a video for donations / contributions, but for so much more: to promote and support black artists, influencers and executives, ”says Trevino by email. “My heart was to support them by using my platform and at the same time collect donations and ALSO provide resources in the description that people can share, use and distribute. I never thought that my video would violate any of the community guidelines. "
By Thursday evening, her video had received more than 40,000 views. Trevino said, "Both of them excite me and make me nervous because I don't want anyone to report my video or have YouTube shut it down." Later on Thursday evening, her video was removed from the platform.
"I appealed and submitted a form," says Trevino, referring to YouTube's future powers. "You haven't contacted me yet."
YouTube responded to the video removal with an explanation of the alleged violations of counterfeit engagement and encouraging clicks or views. His blog post says: "While you can use and donate all of the advertising revenue you get from organic traffic, some of these videos will encourage people to repeatedly watch the video for ad views and / or click repeatedly on the ads in the video the video’s playback time and ad metrics are artificially increased. This violates YouTube’s guidelines. We see this encouragement in video titles, descriptions, and the video content itself, none of which is allowed. If your video encourages this behavior, it will be removed from YouTube, you will not be paid for the views and clicks, and advertisers will not be charged. "
A YouTube spokesman further told Yahoo Life that YouTube is still working with Amira to donate money from their video to a recognized 503c nonprofit of their choice. However, the specific amount of money donated has not been released and no effort has been made to reach the potential revenue from other fundraising videos.
Some videos that are left and whose profits will benefit organizations fighting racial injustices are those of Stephanie Soo, a YouTuber with more than 2.2 million subscribers who integrates real crime into videos of their food from different kitchens.
Other developers continue to talk about YouTube's actions (or inactions) when it comes to supporting black developers and black content during this time. Roxy Striar, a content creator and host, expressed dissatisfaction with the platform when he encountered similar problems in generating ad revenue for various videos related to the Black Lives Matter movement, including those that are not specifically for Fundraisers were made.
Roxy Striar

@roxystriar
Dear @YouTube, kind of crappy, if you talk about #blacklivesmatter in my channel, you give me "limited or no advertising based on content". #BLM is not a political statement. It is not an opinion.

If I have white guests, you pay me. If I have black guests, you don't. Shadow.
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9:29 a.m. - June 7, 2020
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"If I have white guests, you pay me. If I have black guests, you don't, ”Striar tweeted next to photos from the backend of her account. "Shadow."
Striar continues to explain to Yahoo Life: “YouTube is an incentive for developers not to talk about Black Lives Matter, because otherwise they cannot pay their rent. ... If you really believe Black Lives is Matter, you will no longer keep your content creators from talking about the movement. "
In response to a lot of feedback, YouTube director Susan Wojcicki announced on Thursday a multi-year $ 100 million fund dedicated to enhancing and developing the voices of black creators and artists and their stories. This includes a livestream donation campaign produced by YouTube Originals (YTO) entitled "Bear Witness, Take Action", which premiered on Saturday.
Youtube

@Youtube
We hear you. We need to do more to protect and amplify black voices and make YouTube a safer and more inclusive space. We are determined to do better. For more information, see our CEO Susan Wojcicki's letter to the community →
https: //
yt.be/kxtT
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9:53 p.m. - June 11, 2020
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872 people talk about it
"I am sure that they are doing something to support black creators on their platform, but I would definitely say that they can do better and more," said Trevino of YouTube's efforts so far. “I find that many of these smaller black developers have the most authentic and sometimes the best content, but are still relatively small compared to other successful YouTubers. I would like to see more successful black and brown creators on the platform. "
Read more from Yahoo Life:
As a video about white privileges goes viral again, experts warn that it could actually do more damage
These artists create powerful portraits of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor: "Art is a tool for me to raise my voice."
"The world is scared right now": 16-year-old boys are making a short film to talk about racial injustice, the corona virus
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