- YouTube issued MoistCr1TiKaL a strike on his channel over a video it claimed contained violence and graphic content with the intent to shock.
- The content in question featured a viral clip from 2014 of a likely staged road rage incident where people in cartoon character costumes brawl with another driver – a clip widely viewed as funny that has been used in other YouTube videos without issue.
- Cr1TiKaL and Markiplier then called out YouTube for not giving Markiplier a strike as well when he used the same clip in a video from four years ago. YouTube responded by handing Markiplier a strike.
- After backlash and conversations about uneven enforcement, poor communication, and issues with YouTube’s review process, YouTube finally apologized and removed both strikes, calling it an “over-enforcement” of its policies.
Cr1TiKaL Speaks Out Against YouTube Strike
YouTube apologized Wednesday and reversed two controversial strikes it issued against Markiplier and MoistCr1TiKal, two popular gaming and commentary creators.
This whole situation started on Tuesday when Cr1TiKaL took to Twitter to voice his frustration about a strike he was given on his YouTube channel, Penguinz0. The video that prompted the strike was taken down for including violent or graphic content, and according to a screenshot he shared, his appeal toward the decision was rejected.
So what particular content did YouTube have an issue with? Well, his video featured a pretty viral clip from 2014 that you’ve probably seen before. It’s a likely staged “road rage” video where people dressed as characters like SpongeBob SquarePants and Mickey Mouse get into a brawl with the driver of another car. If you’ve seen the video, you know its typically received as funny. It’s since been reinstated on his channel, so you can decide for yourself.
That same day, Cr1TiKaL posted a video talking about this, saying he believed a human moderator wasn’t behind the decision because his YouTube contacts agree that it’s not worthy of a strike. Still, he noted that these contacts are pretty disconnected from YouTube’s manual review team, which can only be reached through email.
“Every department I’ve talked to has no direct means of communication with them. And I’m talking heads of these departments, have no way of getting in f*cking contact with this f*cking group here.” he explained.
“You know how alarming that is? They actually shared with me the message [YouTube] sent in regards to the road rage video they took down. It’s two lines. It is one line that says we are maintaining our decision to keep the video down, and the second line is a copy and paste of the rules regarding shocking content that’s taken right off of the Google help page. That’s it. There’s no conversation. There’s no proof that a human being even wrote that email. It is literally looking like an automated reply. That is what they sent to a f*cking head of one of these departments who tried to get in contact to fix this issue. That is a problem.”
That video is worth a watch because he also talks about YouTube ignoring other types of graphic content like animal abuse, even when people have been vocal about particular channels breaking rules before.
When Cr1TiKaL posted this video, he was pretty confident that YouTube would reply to his tweet maintaining its decision. They did exactly that a short time later, saying the footage contained “graphic content (fights, beatings, etc.) w/ the intent to shock.”
He and his fans then start using the hashtag #AnswerUsYouTube, calling for more explanation of what actually goes on during these reviews.
Markiplier Gets Hit With a Stike
To further point out just how ridiculous his strike was, he pointed to a Maripkier video from fours years ago that features the same exact clip, asking “When will he be getting his strike?”
He clarified that this obviously wasn’t to snitch on Markiplier, but just to highlight how silly his strike was. It seemed like Marikplier understood that because he then tweeted at YouTube, “Fair is fair @TeamYouTube where’s my strike?”
However, rather than walking back on its decision, YouTube actually handed Markiplier his own strike – the first he’s ever received.
Then Marikplier uploaded his own video to talk about this whole situation, which sits at No. 2 on YouTube’s trending page as of Thursday morning. To be clear, in it he says he not against the actual rules themselves because there is content that falls within them that should be taken down. Still, he notes that there are huge problems with uneven enforcement, communication, and YouTube’s review process.
That video is also worth a watch because he makes some great points and suggestions for YouTube. In it, he also said, “Giving me a strike, in what is basically retaliation for me reporting myself, is just petty. That’s all it is. It’s just petty.”
“Who made that call? After I tweeted Team YouTube ‘hey fair is fair.’ Instead of tweeting back at me like ‘Look, no. You’re right, but we stand by it and we have to stick by it. If you could delete it that’d be great.’ And then you know, I would say ‘no, I’m not going to delete it,” and then they would do it anyway. But at least there was a talk about it! At least there was communication about it. At least it seemed like there was another human that cared.”
However, it should be noted that Marikplier and Cr1TiKaL were both clear is saying that their YouTube partner contacts are great, but have to fight so hard for them when it shouldn’t be that difficult.
YouTube Walks Back
After this strike on Markiplier, at a lot of people were surprised, including Cr1TiKaL, who tweeted, “I’m absolutely shocked Youtube is deciding to die on this hill striking even the most wholesome creator on their site rather than admit it was a mistake in the first place.”
But with all of these tweets racking up thousands of likes and retweets, plus both of their videos gathering millions of views, YouTube finally walked back on its decision.
TeamYouTube wrote on Twitter, “we’re not going to die on this hill. You were right – after (even further) review, your video & others are back up and these strikes have been removed. This was an over-enforcement of our policies, especially w/ the added context/commentary as you originally pointed out.”
Update: we’re not going to die on this hill. You were right – after (even further) review, your video & others are back up and these strikes have been removed. This was an over-enforcement of our policies, especially w/ the added context/commentary as you originally pointed out.— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) September 2, 2020
In a reply to a Markiplier tweet where he said: “Fair is fair and if this is the game that @TeamYouTube wants to play, I’ve got my Spongebob costume on and am ready to throw hands,” YouTube responded with, “This is definitely not the game we want to play – we’re so sorry for the confusion & frustration here. Your video and others are back up, and the associated strikes have been removed.”
Markiplier and Cr1TiKaL both said they appreciated the reversal, with Cr1TiKaL adding that he hopes we can all have more open dialogue about issues like this in the future.
He also uploaded another video to YouTube, recapping everything that happened and thanking everyone for all the support. Still, there are several people noting that smaller creators don’t always see this type of resolution and many hope this whole ordeal at least makes YouTube more aware of the issues its users face.
See what others are saying: (TubeFilter) (Dexerto)
Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat
Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.
Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.
Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday.
“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”
In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.
According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.
Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?
As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”
For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.
“I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???” one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People.
“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”
Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media.
“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”
Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer
The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.
The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul
YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker.
While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career.
“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.
“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”
Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content.
“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”
Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury
The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December.
“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”
Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.