YouTube includes ‘instructional hacking and phishing’ videos in its updated list of content violation
Google-owned video-sharing site, YouTube extended its list of ‘banned content’ by including “instructional hacking and phishing” videos that show users “how to bypass secure computer systems or steal user credentials and personal data”.
Other than the above, the recent policy update which has added a new item to the list of “harmful or dangerous content” page, also bans posting of videos that are ‘extremely dangerous challenges’, ‘dangerous or threatening pranks’, ‘instructions to kill or harm’, ‘hard drug use or creation’, eating disorders’, ‘violent events’ and ‘instructional theft’.
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If such videos are found, a warning will be sent to the creator of the channel, with no penalty to the channel. But, if the same mistake is repeated again, it will lead to a permanent ban. However, channels creating ethical hacking courses that are mainly educational will be exempted from the ban.
While these changes were put in place earlier this year, it was only noticed recently when videos under the Null Byte channel were flagged and removed.
Kody Kinzie, an educator and also a co-founder of Hacker Interchange, says his channel publishes “videos for aspiring ethical hackers, computer scientists, and the infosec community.”
We made a video about launching fireworks over Wi-Fi for the 4th of July only to find out @YouTube gave us a strike because we teach about hacking, so we can't upload it.
YouTube now bans: "Instructional hacking and phishing: Showing users how to bypass secure computer systems"
— Kody (@KodyKinzie) July 2, 2019
Kinzie said that the ban is certainly not good news for those trying to learn about computer security.
“I’m worried for everyone that teaches about infosec and tries to fill in the gaps for people who are learning. It is hard, often boring, and expensive to learn cybersecurity,” he tweeted.
Hacker Interchange produces the Cyber Weapons Lab series on YouTube. However, Kinzie reported that they were unable to upload new videos because of a content strike. “Our existing content is being flagged and pulled, just got a strike too,” noted Kinzie.
It was later found that Cyber Weapons Lab’s channel was flagged by mistake and the videos have since been reinstated, and only the video that was found to be violating policies on the YouTube account was removed.
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“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call,” the spokesperson told The Verge. “We have an appeals process in place for users, and when it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”