YouTube giving strikes to viewers for playlists

I have a view-only YouTube account, and I had created a few playlists, containing only other people’s videos. I was very shocked to receive a YouTube strike for merely having a playlist to bookmark categorized videos!

YouTube strike logo

Hi [redacted],

The YouTube community has flagged one or more of your playlists as inappropriate. Once a playlist is flagged, the YouTube Team reviews it for compliance with our Community Guidelines. Upon review, we have determined that the following playlist violates these guidelines, and it has been removed:

[Redacted]

Your account has received one Community Guidelines strike, which will expire in three months. Additional violations could prevent you from posting content to YouTube or even lead to your account getting terminated.

For more information on YouTube’s Community Guidelines and how they are enforced, please visit the Help Center. Please note that deleting this video will not resolve the strike on your account. For more information about how to appeal a strike, please visit this page in the Help Center.

Appealing YouTube strike

I appealed the YouTube strike, explaining simply that:

This is a view-only account, I merely bookmarked these two educational videos, that didn’t appear to be offensive or otherwise inappropriate content. I didn’t upload anything.

Within about two hours, I got the notice that the strike had been rescinded:

Hi [redacted],

Thank you for submitting your playlist appeal to YouTube.

After further review, we have determined that your playlist doesn’t violate our Community Guidelines.

  • The YouTube Team

Conclusions

I find it disturbing that YouTube is punishing viewers for the benign act of saving videos to a playlist. It’s an unreasonable burden for viewers to have to establish the appropriateness of a video they bookmark for future viewing. For too long, YouTube allowed unsavory content, and only acted when advertisers pulled their financial input en masse. This appears to be another whiplash decision by YouTube to cast a broad net of punishment, capturing completely innocent viewers in the fray.

Notes

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