Last week one of my most popular videos detailing how I hacked Unifi accounts was ‘flagged’ as inappropriate in YouTube–apparently it was in violation of their community guidelines.
As such my video was made unavailable and essentially deleted from Youtube.
I was upset.
The email I received from YouTube, gave no indication as to what I did wrong, and even though it states that someone have viewed my video, the language used suggest this was just an automated message sent to my inbox. Nowhere does it suggest an actual human viewed my video and made a judgement, and even worse no justification was given for the removal of the video other than it was ‘flagged’.
Regarding your account: Keith Rozario
The YouTube Community has flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. Once a video is flagged, it is reviewed by the YouTube Team against our Community Guidelines. Upon review, we have determined that the following video(s) contain content in violation of these guidelines, and have been disabled:
- “How I hacked 4 unifi accounts in 5 minutes” (http://youtu.be/MGWMFur2Pek)
Everyone hates spam. Misleading descriptions, tags, titles or thumbnails designed to increase views are not allowed. It’s also not okay to post large amounts of untargeted, unwanted or repetitive content, including comments and private messages.
Your account has received one Community Guidelines warning strike, which will expire in six months. Additional violations may result in the temporary disabling of your ability to post content to YouTube and/or the permanent termination of your account.
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 thispage in the help center.
The YouTube Team
Now the video is one of my favorites, and garnered more than 15,000 views before it was taken offline. Youtube allows ‘hacking’ content on their site, as the multiple DefCon and ScmooCon videos can attest to. So the only message I got was that the video was ‘misleading’ and considered spam.
I made no intention to mis-lead anyone. The video clearly demonstrates how anyone can hack into a Unifi router using Shodan, and from there actually obtain WiFi passwords as well as the Unifi passwords. So I didn’t quite understand why I was being punished when the video demonstrated exactly what the title suggest.
In any case, Youtube allowed for a appeal, which I made, and once again I received an automated reply that didn’t provide any useful information.
Dear Keith Rozario:
Thank you for submitting your video appeal to YouTube.
After further review of the content, we’ve determined that your video does violate our Community Guidelines and have upheld our original decision. We appreciate your understanding.
— The YouTube Team
I have no power over Youtube, and nowhere to plead my case. In fact there were more likes for the video than dislikes, and my intentions were sincere and I have no idea what they considered ‘inappropriate and misleading’, and the whole experience has left me disappointed and upset with Youtube.
However, Youtube may be the biggest player on the block, but certainly not the only player, and I’ve moved the video to Vimeo instead. Here’s the video embedded below, if you think if was mis-leading or not, please let me know. I’ve got nothing to work with from Google.