Lately, more and more reports are coming in of strikes, removals and other restrictions that are being handed out left and right to YouTubers that promote tobacco harm reduction. Nick Green tweets that they are even going back as far as 2009 on his channel, affecting over 150 of his videos.
So what gives?
YouTube has an algorithm that picks up URLs on devices that a Youtuber could be showing/explaining but this doesn’t seem to be the case with a majority of videos being flagged. YouTube has started age-restricting some videos, giving strikes and also going as far as removing these videos completely.
Let me say that personally, these videos are invaluable. You Tubers being targeted like Nick Green (GrimmGreen), Matt Culley (SMM), Phil Busardo and countless others have been a fountain of knowledge for all vapers; now, some of them are a strike away from a permanent ban.
Vaping is the most effective form of Tobacco Harm Reduction. Millions of users have had success with this cessation aid and have been able to quit and stay off combustible cigarettes. The Royal College of Physicians has made the statement that vaping is, in fact, 95% safer than smoking, yet the US still spreads misinformation and this seems to be spilling over to sites like Youtube, making them flag these videos to “protect the youth.”
Along with not being able to access information on these products, we are also missing out on the advocacy message in a lot of these videos which the world so desperately needs right now. Misinformation on vaping is spreading across the globe and we need a platform where we can share our experiences and our truth. Adult smokers deserve to know the facts on vaping. Unfortunately, the information coming from public health here in the US is scaring them away from trying these alternatives which in turn keeps them smoking cigarettes.
In reality, there is a lot more questionable content on YouTube that I would not want kids to have access to. So why is YouTube letting that content slide while adding to the misinformation surrounding vaping and nicotine?
I reached out to YouTube for comment with no success.
So let’s all take a moment of silence for the deleted and banned videos of the past and hope that YouTube moving forward can find a way to make these videos accessible to adults while protecting youth from having access to them.
Written by Allison Boughner