The YouTube Banning Hacking Tutorial Videos With a New Policy Updated its list of what it considers as “harmful or dangerous content.” YouTube.com has now added instructional hacking and phishing videos to its list of “harmful or dangerous content” that is prohibited on the platform. This represents a huge blow to people making videos in the cybersecurity and infosec (information security) community who often use these videos to develop their skills.
Some creators have reportedly received a strike for hosting such content. One YouTube creator noticed a strike on his channel that creates “videos for aspiring ethical hackers, computer scientists, and the infosec community.” Kody Kinzie, a security researcher, and educator who posts hacking tutorial videos on YouTube’s Null Byte channel, on Tuesday said, “A video created for the US July 4th holiday to demonstrate launching fireworks over Wi-Fi couldn’t be uploaded because of the rule.”
Don’t post content on YouTube if it fits any of the descriptions noted below.
- Extremely dangerous challenges: Challenges that pose an imminent risk of physical injury.
- Dangerous or threatening pranks: Pranks that lead victims to fear imminent serious physical danger, or that create serious emotional distress in minors.
- Instructions to kill or harm: Showing viewers how to perform activities meant to kill or maim others, such as providing instructions on how to build a bomb meant to injure or kill people.
- Hard drug use or creation: Content that depicts people abusing controlled substances such as cocaine or opioids, or content providing instructions on how to create drugs. Hard drugs are defined as drugs that can (mostly) lead to physical addiction.
- Eating Disorders: Content in which people suffering from anorexia or other eating disorders are praised for weight loss, are bragging about it, or are encouraging others to imitate the behavior.
- Violent Events: Promoting or glorifying violent tragedies, such as school shootings.
- Instructional theft: Showing users on how to steal money or tangible goods.
- Instructional hacking and phishing: Showing users how to bypass secure computer systems or steal user credentials and personal data.
Please note this is not a complete list. Don’t post content showing a minor participating in a dangerous activity, or encouraging minors to engage in dangerous activities. Never put minors in harmful situations that may lead to injury, including dangerous stunts, dares, or pranks. You can learn more about Child Safety here.
Kody Kinzie, a security researcher, and educator who posts hacking tutorial videos on YouTube’s Null Byte channel, on Tuesday said, “A video created for the US July 4th holiday to demonstrate launching fireworks over Wi-Fi couldn’t be uploaded because of the rule.”
YouTube Banning Hacking Tutorial Videos
In a subsequent comment, a YouTube spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that Cyber Weapons Lab’s channel was flagged by mistake and the videos have since been restored. “With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call,” the spokesperson said. “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.”