YouTube removed a record 5.8 million channels in Q3 2022

Edward G. | December 28, 2022

According to Atlas VPN analysis, Google’s video platform removed a record number of channels last quarter  — 5.8 million. 

Prior to Q3 2022, the highest volume of removed channels was recorded during the third quarter of 2021, at 4.8 million terminations. 

Over 91.2% of all removed channels last quarter were flagged as either misleading, participating in scams, or simply spamming.

The number of channels removed in Q3 2022 increased by 1.8 million compared to Q2, representing a growth of 46%. 

The figures were extracted from the YouTube Community Guidelines enforcement report

Another 194 thousand channels, or 3.3% of the total, were terminated due to breaking YouTube’s community guidelines by showcasing nude or sexual content.

An additional 106 thousand channels (1.8%) were removed because they were infringing upon the platform’s child safety rules. 

Finally, around 60 thousand (1%) creators saw their channels deleted permanently because they were deemed to be participating in harassment and cyberbullying. 

An official statement by YouTube notes that the high volume of terminated channels might be due to the actions they have taken to preserve their workforce and cut in-office staffing in response to COVID-19. 

In other words, Google’s video platform is relying more on technology to assist with some of the work typically performed by human reviewers, which means they are eliminating more content that may or may not be in violation of their standards.

When a channel breaches YouTube’s community rules three times within a three-month period, the subject gets deleted. A channel can also be discontinued as a result of a single serious offense, such as predatory activity.

Most videos deleted in India

When YouTube deletes a channel, all of its videos are removed as well. Together with 5.8 million channels, due to channel-level suspension, more than 5.6 million videos were removed in the third quarter of 2022. YouTube has likely deleted millions of accounts over the years. For instance, between January and March of 2020, YouTube had removed 2 million channels.

Surprisingly, one country stands above the rest in terms of the volume of recordings terminated. 

Throughout Q3 2022, as many as 1.7 million videos originating from India were deleted. The second country on the list — Indonesia, saw 629 thousand videos removed. 

The United States stands in third place, with 534 thousand removals. Brazil (276 thousand) and Russia (218 thousand) round up the top five countries in terms of deleted Youtube videos as a result of overstepping community guidelines. 

Interestingly, video and channel removal reasons differ completely.

While 91.2% of channels were removed due to spamming, misleading, and scams, only 3.9% of videos were removed based on these grounds. 

In contrast, the largest portion of videos were terminated due to child safety concerns, totaling 2 million videos deleted, comprising 36% of the total.

Another 1 million (18.4%) recordings were removed because they displayed violent or graphic content. Looking back at channel terminations, this category does not make the top five list and is below 1%. 

The third most common reason for video removals was breaking YouTube’s guidelines for sexual content. Almost 770 thousand (13.7%) recordings were deleted based on this cause. 

Harmful or dangerous (11.4%) and cyberbullying (10%) were also among the top five reasons for video removals globally. 

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Edward G.

Edward G.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. My mission is to scan the ever-evolving cybercrime landscape to inform the public about the latest threats.



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