Hubze is an Internet marketing company with a suite of Facebook tools that help individuals and businesses customize their fan pages. The company has posted over 250 videos to their YouTube channel--instructional, educational, training, etc. And now all 250 have effectively disappeared from public view, because Hubze's YouTube account has been suspended without warning.
David Foster writes that aside from one email notifying them of the suspension, they have received no other contact from YouTube whatsoever, despite a few attempts to get a reply. Here's the image he shared of the email YouTube sent:
Foster seems to think the suspension is related to his company being in the Internet Marketing business. That perhaps YouTube is cracking down, for some reason, on that industry. In particular, he wonders if the punishment is connected to Hubze's use of the word YouTube in video titles.
According to Foster, there is activity on Twitter suggesting he's far from the only one experiencing this problem. And yet, despite having all-original content and never having been in anything but good standing with YouTube, they are now shut out for six months. Presumably, the account will be reinstated at that point. But if Hubze is never told what they did wrong, how can they be expected to avoid doing it again in the future?
And regardless of what the email says about a suspension, if you go looking for Hubze's channel on YouTube, you get the message below that says the account is terminated--not suspended:
How many other "Internet Marketing" companies are in danger of a similar fate? The truth is that there's simply no way to know until-or-unless Hubze gets more information from YouTube on why this occurred. It's entirely possible it's just a mistake. After all, Rebecca Black's "Friday" video was a $2.99 rental for a brief period this week, and I'm quite sure that wasn't on purpose.
What kind of violation could be so severe as to deserve account termination, but so innocuous as to escape the account-holder's view?
The Next Move For Hubze?
In the most recent up date (as of this writing) at the bottom of Foster's post, the suspension has lasted more than 24 hours and he has yet to hear back from anyone at YouTube. So he's doing something that should make some of you proud: he's going to make a video about it and post it to a different YouTube account.
If he can get enough attention to the video, he just might have a shot at getting someone at the video company to at least explain the suspension. I'll try and remember to post that video here when he launches it.
For now, they're in the process of moving their videos to Vimeo, at least until they can get the whole mess sorted out with YouTube. Foster also wonders aloud how they should feel about advising clients to use YouTube as a service moving forward. And you can't really blame him. Think about what a hassle it is to find all 250 original video files locally and re-upload to another service... and if Hubze can't find out why it happened, they can't exactly keep it from happening for their customers either.
UPDATE: Per the update from Hubze on their original blog post, YouTube has reactivated their account. However, there was one offending video that was removed. And Hubze's suspicions were correct: the word "YouTube" in the video's title is what caused the problem. Apparently that's against the rules, though plenty of videos exist with "YouTube" in the title that have not been pulled.