YouTube Censored Me for Uploading Video About YouTube Censorship

Matt Orfalea
3 min readJun 21, 2021

In January, YouTube removed videos of a U.S. Senate committee hearing that discussed evidence suggesting that ivermectin, a cheap and widely available drug, could effectively prevent and treat COVID-19. This month, when Senator Ron Johnson and Dr. Bret Weinstein continued the discussion with new evidence, YouTube removed their videos and suspended each of their YouTube channels for sharing “medical misinformation”.

My video documenting this story of censorship is still up on YouTube. Oddly enough however, YouTube has banned me from uploading and live-streaming for one week because of unpublished rough cuts of the same video.

It’s always been a regular part of my workflow to upload private cuts to YouTube for two reasons. (1) To see if YouTube recognizes any violations or issues that could lead to demonetization, so I can fix if necessary before publishing. (2) To quality check and preview how it plays on YouTube. Often, I see things I want to change, and repeat the process, uploading another version.

June 14, at 7:28 PM, I received my first YouTube warning, when YouTube deleted 3 of those private cuts from my channel. They had not been posted or in any way shared publicly.

There were other such rough cuts (seen below) that YouTube did not identify as a violation but I immediately deleted them anyway to be safe.

June 15, at 5:42 AM—literally the morning after my first warning—YouTube punished me with my first YouTube strike for one of the rough cuts (“CRIME OF CENTURY 0612xtendedcards”) that I had already deleted the night before. At 5:43, I received a second alert that another private cut with the same name, that I’d also already deleted the night prior, was in violation of YouTube’s community guidelines too.

YouTube warned that a second strike would extend my ban, and that a third strike “will result in [my] channel being permanently removed by YouTube.”

I received the emails as I was viewing my YouTube video library, so one can compare my video library the night before (above) and the mobile screenshot of my video library at the time of the email (below) to see that the offending videos and all other private versions had already been deleted (by myself, the night before).

My recent experience with YouTube reveals extremely troubling facts about YouTube’s authoritarian control over important topics of discourse. If YouTube censors users even when they dutifully respond to their first warning, then YouTube is not offering fair warnings. If you even think about posting a public video on YouTube that challenges the official narrative, regarding ivermectin, YouTube may find you guilty of what is essentially a thought crime. For this, apparently, you will not be entitled to a fair warning; your work will be deleted; and your own voice, on one of the world’s largest public squares, will be banned, if not permanently deleted.

Correction: Earlier, I wrote about receiving one email regarding the strike for one previously deleted private video. I was sent two emails citing two previously deleted private videos. At first, I didn’t realize they were citing two separate videos because the videos each had the exact same title: “CRIME OF CENTURY 0612xtendedcards”.