The End of Jake’s YouTube Channel?

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Jake’s in trouble.

He’s violated YouTube Community Guidelines, and not for the first time.  He is posting unwanted and copywritten material in a pervasive and persistent manner to the popular site.  He’s pretty freaked.  We didn’t know for a couple of reasons.  1.  Who reads the fine print?  2.  Jake doesn’t check his email  3.  We’re terrible parents 

We hadn’t seen him in a few days because he was on a church retreat.  The first thing he did when we saw him was tell us that his video editor was broken.  I looked at his device, and saw the restriction.  I checked his email account, and that’s when I found the explanation (below).  In the message from YouTube, they cite his violation and award him Strike 2 – which is a two week moratorium from posting new videos.The scary part is that a third strike may result in his channel being taken away.  That would crush him.

Granted, most of his videos are just videos he’s either filmed from the computer, or short clips he’s grabbed from various sites and altered slightly to make them his own.  It’s obviously not his work.  It’s obviously repetitive, but then again he’s got autism and has an obsessive personality.  Repetitive is kind of his thing.  But he’s just as obviously not trying to drive people from the site, and in fact is enjoying a boost in subscribership.  As of this writing, he’s got 254 subscribers!  He couldn’t be more proud of himself.   

I have used the “appeal form” provided by YouTube, but that’s little more than a blank field to be filled in by very few allowable characters, where I tried my best to convey that Jake has a developmental disorder, that he hasn’t been spamming anyone on purpose, and that I’ve educated him regarding copyright law.  I don’t need his two week suspension lifted, but I would like at least his second strike removed.  In fact, I think a two week suspension will help the lesson sink in.  I sent my appeal on Sunday, but haven’t received a reply to date.

This has been a good lesson in never getting lax when it comes to knowledge of what your kids are doing online.  Do we watch what Jake is posting?  Yes, but everything has always been so innocent.  We have talked to him about not posting videos that he has taken from other places and have even removed some videos like this in the past.  He doesn’t fully understand what we mean by this, so he finds himself doing it again unwittingly.  Ah, the ever-present task of parenting. 

I can’t seem to get through to him that his most popular videos are the ones that he’s taken himself, and of “real” things.  Nobody wants to watch most of his videos except himself, but I guess there’s a certain courage to that.  Too often we create for the praise or support of others – Jake does what makes Jake happy.  End of story. 

But, if what makes you happy is against the rules – it’s time to learn that lesson.  And learn he has.  He’s in a panic now, afraid that the “YouTube Man” is going to take his channel.  He says he’s sorry and that he won’t ever post an MGM video again.  The real question is: what’s is it about kids getting on and off the bus for ten minutes that made 46,000+ people watch the video?? 

To be continued…

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