Remember my videos of the TGA website showing adverse event reports? I produced about 20 of them and was always mindful to provide a caution that the reports did not mean causality had been determined. The videos were made with zoom with my voice explaining what you were seeing while I filmed the TGA site direct.
For those not clear the TGA is the Therapeutic Goods Administration, a government site which makes available reported adverse events from many drugs and devices to the public.
I have not produced a report since about March this year as I note many other people doing great work in this area and I don't see a need for duplication. Only a few weeks ago YouTube notified me that one of my videos had been removed having been identified as containing misinformation and therefore violating their policy. I appealed the decision pointing out that the video was entirely of an Australian government website, with appropriate cautions and nothing misleading. This was successful and the video reinstated.
A few weeks later another video was removed and identified the same way even though it was created in the same way with the same cautions. My appeal on this was not successful and I was issued with a 'warning'.
I reviewed this particular video trying to determine what may have been construed as problematic when others weren't but couldn't find a single thing different. So I contacted YouTube to seek some clarity as I wanted to ensure that other videos would be compliant and I wouldn't be restricted from using YouTube.
The YouTube representatives I liaised with were very unhelpful simply referring me repeatedly back to their policy but not providing me any information about what specifically I had violated. To pre-empt any issues I decided to delete all of my TGA videos to upload to an alternative platform. I did this on 15th September (Australian).
Within hours I was then sent an email stating that yet another video was in violation and I now had a strike and had restrictions on my account. When I contacted YouTube via messaging they advised the only way to manage this was to appeal the removal of the video. It seemed there was no way to make them understand I removed the video and I didn't want to appeal it's removal. They seem to also fail to understand that our prior communication about this matter had been all about avoiding this very situation.
You can see how futile this conversation was below.
With my last message:
So now I may still be in violation of policies in unspecified ways even though my media no longer exists on the platform and I have done everything humanly possible to comply.
Clearly these platforms have no interest at all in their users or even really in their own policies given their failure to be able to provide specific information.
While YouTube is only one platform, it is the one I currently use to upload videos of myself reading bedtime stories to my grandchildren. These are set to private so only they see them with a specific link so it would be a nuisance to lose my access.
The point is though, that this is an almost identical battle I've just had with LinkedIn who also removed my access for 2 weeks, demanded photo identification (something never asked for when you join) and a promise to abide by policies before reinstating me. All of this while being non specific about what policy I'd actually violated and while telling me I had engaged in 'multiple violations' which is simply untrue. I'd be hard to convince that I wasn't talking to exactly the same people from the 2 different platforms!
If you expect to hear the full story from the more popular social media platforms or our mainstream media today, you will be sorely disappointed. Or perhaps you will just be content not to have your own world rocked when you realised you've been lied to.