- 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)
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.
Twitch Blames Server Configuration Error for Hack, Says There’s No Indication That Login Info Leaked
The platform also said full credit card numbers were not reaped by hackers, as that data is stored externally.
Login and Credit Card Info Secure
Twitch released a security update late Wednesday claiming it had seen “no indication” that users’ login credentials were stolen by hackers who leaked the entire platform’s source code earlier in the day.
“Full credit card numbers are not stored by Twitch, so full credit card numbers were not exposed,” the company added in its announcement.
The leaked data, uploaded to 4chan, includes code related to the platform’s security tools, as well as exact totals of how much it has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
Early Thursday, Twitch also announced that it has now reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Streamers looking for their new keys can visit a dashboard set up by the platform, though users may need to manually update their software with the new key before being able to stream again depending on what kind of software they use.
As far as what led to the hackers being able to steal the data, Twitch blamed an error in a “server configuration change that was subsequently accessed by a malicious third party,” confirming that the leak was not the work of a current employee who used internal tools.
Will Users Go to Other Streaming Platforms?
While no major creators have said they are leaving Twitch for a different streaming platform because of the hack, many small users have either announced their intention to leave Twitch or have said they are considering such a move.
It’s unclear if the leak, coupled with other ongoing Twitch controversies, will ultimately lead to a significant user exodus, but there’s little doubt that other platforms are ready and willing to leverage this hack in the hopes of attracting new users.
At least one big-name streamer has already done as much, even if largely only presenting the idea as a playful jab rather than with serious intention.
“Pretty crazy day today,” YouTube’s Valkyrae said on a stream Wednesday while referencing a tweet she wrote earlier the day.
“YouTube is looking to sign more streamers,” that tweet reads.
“I mean, they are! … No shade to Twitch… Ah! Well…” Valkyrae said on stream before interrupting herself to note that she was not being paid by YouTube to make her comments.
The Entirety of Twitch Has Been Leaked Online, Including How Much Top Creators Earn
The data dump, which could be useful for some of Twitch’s biggest competitors, could signify one of the most encompassing platform leaks ever.
Massive Collection of Data Leaked
Twitch’s full source code was uploaded to 4chan Wednesday morning after it was obtained by hackers.
Among the 125 GB of stolen data is information revealing that Amazon, which owns Twitch, has at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library. That library, codenamed Vapor, would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
With Amazon being the all-encompassing giant that it is, it’s not too surprising that it would try to develop a Steam rival, but it’s eyecatching news nonetheless considering how much the release of Vapor could shake up the market.
The leaked data also showcased exactly how much Twitch has paid its creators, including the platform’s top accounts, such as the group CriticalRole, as well as steamers xQcOW, Tfue, Ludwig, Moistcr1tikal, Shroud, HasanAbi, Sykkuno, Pokimane, Ninja, and Amouranth.
These figures only represent payouts directly from Twitch. Each creator mentioned has made additional money through donations, sponsorships, and other off-platform ventures. Sill, the information could be massively useful for competitors like YouTube Gaming, which is shelling out big bucks to ink deals with creators.
Data related to Twitch’s internal security tools, as well as code related to software development kits and its use of Amazon Web Services, was also released with the hack. In fact, so much data was made public that it could constitute one of the most encompassing platform dumps ever.
Streamer CDawgVA, who has just under 500,000 subscribers on Twitch, tweeted about the severity of the data breach on Wednesday.
“I feel like calling what Twitch just experienced as “leak” is similar to me shitting myself in public and trying to call it a minor inconvenience,” he wrote. “It really doesn’t do the situation justice.”
Despite that, many of the platform’s top streamers have been quite casual about the situation.
“Hey, @twitch EXPLAIN?”xQc tweeted. Amouranth replied with a laughing emoji and the text, “This is our version of the Pandora papers.”
Meanwhile, Pokimane tweeted, “at least people can’t over-exaggerate me ‘making millions a month off my viewers’ anymore.”
Others, such as Moistcr1tikal and HasanAbi argued that their Twitch earning are already public information given that they can be easily determined with simple calculations.
Could More Data Come Out?
This may not be the end of the leak, which was labeled as “part one.” If true, there’s no reason to think that the leakers wouldn’t publish a part two.
For example, they don’t seem to be too fond of Twitch and said they hope this data dump “foster[s] more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space.”
They added that the platform is a “disgusting toxic cesspool” and included the hashtag #DoBetterTwitch, which has been used in recent weeks to drive boycotts against the platform as smaller creators protest the ease at which trolls can use bots to spam their chats with racist, sexist, and homophobic messages.
Still, this leak does appear to lack one notable set of data: password and address information of Twitch users.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the leakers don’t have it. It could just mean they are only currently interested in sharing Twitch’s big secrets.
Regardless, Twitch users and creators are being strongly urged to change their passwords as soon as possible and enable two-factor authentication.