Fans of the gaming channel Markiplier were shocked to discover their Google accounts disabled completely.
During a livestream on Thursday, Nov. 7, YouTuber Markiplier played his recent choose-your-own-adventure experience titled A Heist With Markiplier with viewers and fans.
Due to the nature of the video, Markiplier had asked his viewers to send coloured emojis into the chat to help him decide which on-screen option to pick when prompted: green for one option and red for the other.
What users were unaware of until the moderating team for Markiplier’s stream was notified, was that continuously spamming emojis into the chat was leading to accounts being suspended – but not just YouTube, all of Google.
In an attempt to retrieve their accounts, people took to Twitter and email to contact YouTube and appeal the suspension, to which they received the response of “there was nothing we could do”.
The response by YouTube is questionable in and of itself because the Twitter team is comprised of actual people rather than an automated service. There are people reviewing these appeals, seeing no real breach in the terms of service with the YouTube and Google accounts, but refusing to correct the issue.
YouTube has been dealing with a number of issues like this for its content creators and users for the last several years as their company grew but the team behind the scenes did not.
ASMR content creators, like FrivilousFox, were having videos demonetized due to content that was deemed inappropriate by YouTube’s automated systems, when in reality, they are only licking or scratching microphones in order to simulate a specific sound effect. YouTube claimed the videos were sexual, however any search through the videos by anyone at all will yield the result that they are far from sexual.
YouTube’s algorithm also became a problem when it was redesigned (again) in August 2019. The update was to allow users to curate their content more carefully but ended up hiding some accounts on users’ subscriber feed even if they were subscribed to that creator. Some content creators saw a spike in viewership while others saw a dramatic decline which, of course, affected income.
YouTube has not yet commented on the issue regarding Markiplier’s fans. Markiplier himself has reached out to YouTube in an attempt to rectify the situation for his community, but has not yet heard back from the service.