The Climate State channel was created in 2012, we uploaded over 900 videos to YouTube over the years, considerably increasing content for the platform in the climate science field, for a platform which is otherwise dominated by entertainment.
Climate State is the largest not corporate climate focus channel on the platform, has the most subscribers, and videos. We also had a second channel, but has been terminated since by YouTube in 2017 for spam, scams, and deceptive content violations.
As we reported extensively during the first six months of 2019, YouTube suddenly demonetized our channel back on January the 30th, citing reused content guideline violations. Additional, YouTube did not inform us about demonetizing our channel, and gave no prior warnings.
Because it is difficult to assess what YouTube exactly terms as reused content, we deleted already close to 300 videos from our channel, many from NASA, many videos we were asked to share.
- YouTube provided a tool for sharing other channel’s content until around early 2018, suggesting that it is fine to share content under existing copyright laws.
- YouTube rejected our video dispute of a copyright strike, even though we pointed out we own and created all the content of said video.
- We uploaded content published under public domain or creative commons licenses from other channels, e.g. from NASA, CarbonBrief, 350.org.
- We usually obtain content rights, there are only a few exceptions – and fair use should cover those.
- We are often approached by rights owners to share their content to our audience.
Since decades, climate deniers attempt, and have been successful in disrupting climate change communications. Author, climate expert, and blogger Joe Romm frequently points out that repeating climate science messages is key to countering the constant climate denial.
Hence, it is important to bring good climate talks to a larger audience. YouTube should acknowledge this, since their business model is also threatened by climate change.
Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s CEO cited education as a goal for YouTube in 2018. However, the platform frequently recommends videos from well-known climate deniers to their audiences, but enforces a zero tolerance approach when it comes to the niche climate science segment.
YouTube rejects Climate State monetization request
On July the 1st 2019 YouTube rejects our request to be monetized, again for reused content, citing content on our channel that doesn’t provide significant original commentary, or educational value. It just took four months for this conclusion.
- The problem with YouTube’s reuse policy is that it does not account for the niche topic of climate science, editing a climate talk would take away from the message. Science talks are usually shared by channels which have only a small subscriber base, or lack audio and or video quality, which we usually try to address with our re-uploads. These videos make up only a fraction of what we provide.
- The problem is also that until 2019 there were no indications that sharing a video from NASA, with only marginal edits would be a problem. Why is YouTube not enforcing these policies for newer science uploads only?
- YouTube provides no tools to check if a particular video is already on the platform.
- YouTube is not communicating to us which of the ca. 625 remaining videos are seen as problematic.
- YouTube is not asking us to provide video permissions.
- Why is YouTube not simply disabling monetization for videos they deem problematic?
How is YouTube staff judging educational value of climate science videos?
Everybody who follows climate science is well aware that science messaging, and repeating messages is important, hence science channels should be judged in light of the orchestrated campaigns to undermine the science.
When we started the channel we wanted to provide more balance, at the time climate denial was more rampant than today, and remains a problem on YouTube with regular postings by the usual suspects of conspiracy theories, falsehoods, personal attacks. Yes, I can provide evidence, would be happy to assist YouTube staff to address this climate science fake news dilemma.
Enforcing YouTube’s policy equates to erasing years of climate change history
Please help us to make YouTube rethink their stance on how they deal with climate science focused channels, otherwise we have to delete many important videos ranging from talks by the world’s most renowned scientists to some videos with hundreds of thousands of views, still watched today.
Our channel would likely contain only 100-200 videos, maybe less the next time I go and delete, since I can not afford to continue with YouTube without monetization.
Peter Sinclair (2017): Climate State has been doing an absolutely amazing job of providing a useful historical archive of important experts warning on climate issues through past decades.
SkepticalScience (2013): Chris Machens has launched a new online climate magazine and video site called ClimateState. The first issue of the magazine features several Skeptical Science resources, including Dana’s post on recent hurricane research, and The Consensus Project.
Check it out.
Please voice your opinion below, on facebook, or on twitter, about this story, would like to update this blog with more feedback from our audience if possible, and later send YouTube this article and our petition.
On July 31st 2019, we are allowed to request a new review by the YouTube staff, if we can’t sort this out until then I’ve to delete hundreds more of historic climate change videos 🙁
We have reached thousands of people in the past few days with our blog posts, gained hundreds of new YouTube subscribers, and had almost 200,000 video views – even though we do not post much videos currently.
Do you care about climate change communication?