According to a shocking claim made by Engadget, YouTube temporarily shut down a number of channels that promoted their Twitch streams.
Popular channels like Linus Tech Tips, Surny and Aztrosizt say their YouTube channels were suddenly terminated after posting videos promoting their Twitch streams. However, the shutdown was only temporary and all the channels are back up and running at this time.
YouTube Assures YouTubers They Can Still Promote Twitch Streams
It almost seems like this was an error on YouTube’s part rather than an attack on Twitch. YouTube’s policies do include a section that condemns videos with the end goal to “drive people off of YouTube and onto another site.” But YouTube says that creators are still able to promote their Twitch streams on YouTube.
You can absolutely create videos that promote or link to Twitch! And there's no new enforcement. As stated in our Community Guidelines, if the content's main/sole purpose is to drive people off YouTube and onto another site, it will likely violate our spam policies.
— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) June 18, 2018
YouTube additionally told both Engadget and Polygon that creators can “absolutely” create and upload videos promoting Twitch and that there is “no new enforcement.”
Is this all a big mistake?
Linus Tech Tips, a channel with millions of subscribers — has been promoting Twitch stream for years now and YouTube’s been fine with it. Or at least they didn’t do anything to stop it. It’d be really peculiar if YouTube all the sudden began to crack the whip on Twitch promoters.
It’s possible that this was all just a mistake. After all, YouTube didn’t even issue strikes to the creators whose channels were temporarily terminated. The channels were terminated without warning. If this wasn’t a mistake and newfound enforcement, then this is incredibly harsh. YouTube has been stricter with enforcing their policies recently. This, however, is extreme, to say the least.
What if it’s not?
But what if the channel terminations aren’t by mistake? What if YouTube is taking an aggressive stance against Twitch. Both are in competition. YouTube is trying to attract gamers, while Twitch is breaking out into non-gaming content.
Regardless of what way you look at it though, if YouTube is really doing this, it isn’t a smart move. It’s going to split its audience and force YouTube / Twitch users to choose which platform they use. And there’s a high potential those creators would choose to ditch YouTube if it means they can have more control over their content on Twitch.
Let’s not jump to conclusions though. The channels that were terminated are back up and YouTube says YouTubers can still promote Twitch in their videos — as long as it’s not just a clip with a link to a Twitch stream. Nevertheless, these allegations are sure to hurt YouTube’s already damaged reputation with its community. The company’s face much backlash for changing creators’ thumbnails without their consent, accidentally removing right-wing channels, and demonetizing charity videos donating their earnings to the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting.