Banned From Making Money, These YouTubers Share Their Stories

Illustration for article titled Banned From Making Money, These YouTubers Share Their Stories

Last week, after I reported on Nick Reineke's ban from YouTube's AdSense service because of an over-zealous fan, two strange things happened.


The first: just a few minutes after the story ran, Reineke sent me an e-mail to say that YouTube had reinstated his AdSense account. They didn't say a word; he just found that his account suddenly worked again.

The second: people started contacting me with their own stories. YouTubers who had been banned from AdSense—almost all for the same exact reason—sent over messages on Kotaku, Twitter, and e-mail to share their tales of woe. It seems to be a common problem, and once someone is banned from YouTube's advertising service, it seems to be near-impossible to get back on.

I've rounded up a few of their stories here.

YouTube user MrTheVestman:

I can also confirm the same thing the person in the article experienced. I was one of the first to get swept up in their new, more open policy about monetizing. However after a short time I had been banned, with the same reasons as the person in the article. After much digging, I found the same issue had occurred. A subscriber (Later identified) had gone through and shot my clicks from the average 20/day, to nearly 300. I tried multiple times to get it cleared up, but Google doesn't bother with actual customer support, so I never had my account re-monetized. I eventually gave up, as I had recently started freelancing anyways, and had no time to maintain my channel anymore. Glad to see that at least this person had his sorted out.

YouTube user SniperousSnape:

My account was disabled about a month ago after I received an astounding 999 clicks in one day. I thought this was just a glitch by Google, but sure enough they blamed me and took down my account the next day.


YouTube user BitGamerYT:

I had a subscriber that had been clicking on adverts on any video that I posted and within a month from just this one subscriber I had amounted over £1000 from AdSense which at the time I questioned this with Google without reply as I felt something was going very wrong and not knowing at the time as to what was the cause I left it to see what happened. Within a day of the end date I had my account blocked and the same standard emails sent to myself from Google and though I explained I had made contact to say I felt something was going wrong, Google simply said that "after further investigation the account is in breach of Google guidelines" etc.

In the end I gave up and vented on Twitter, where the offending subscriber came forward and said they were only trying to help and do something good for the channel... Though angry, I did make one last attempt to contact Google with this fact and that email went unanswered.


YouTube user Jademalo:

I ran a Minecraft server, and had some ads on the site I also ran. And my brother, being the loving and kind brother he is (with good intentions,) clicked my adverts a few times so I got some money.

I've been banned for over two years, and I appeal every 6 months or so. This is blocking my ability to monetize my YouTube videos, and considering I've got a decent amount of views on a few of them, It's a huge kick in the teeth.

The thing is - I don't even know if it was my brother that triggered it. I'm only assuming that since he was on the same IP as me, but for all I know some of the other people who play on the server could have done it, again, with good intentions (Since they knew I was struggling to afford it.)

This AdSense policy of instant ban forever is a little bit ridiculous, if there was an explination as to why you were banned, or a three strikes policy, or even just a fair warning that there was invalid activity going on, you'd have time to put a stop to it, rather than being banned from AdSense for life.

I mean, I could create a new Google account - but I have Jademalo on everything. It's my identity, and it's the channel I have all the views on. Heck, I'm even using it right now to email you, and I logged in with it to post this same thing as a comment.

It really sucks being knocked down before I even had the chance to get up.

YouTuber user TWILdotTV, formerly thisweekinlinux:

I started making videos on YouTube in December of 2009. I primarily discussed technology-related subjects, surrounding Linux and free/open source software. I immediately set up an AdSense account and tied it to my original domain,, and monetized videos on my "thisweekinlinux" channel on YouTube when they were offered.

In March/April of 2010, my channel began rapidly growing, and in June, I was accepted into the YouTube partner program. I had approximately 2000 subscribers and about 100,000 total video views at the time. By the end of the year, my channel had grown to over 10,000 subscribers and over 1 million video views. Things were going very well, from my point of view.

In June of 2011, I believe I was at 24-25,000 subscribers, and about 3 million total video views, and on June 15th, my AdSense account was banned with the reason of: "your AdSense account
poses a risk of generating invalid activity". Apparently this is a pretty common occurrence, but I wasn't aware of it until then.

I filed my appeal, giving as much information as I could (server statistics, potential issues, etc.). The only thing I could really think of was that I had received a spike in traffic on one day for being featured on a larger blog (traffic was approximately 3-4x what it normally would be). Even then, I was denied.

I reached out to YouTube partner support, and they immediately turned me away. Another person I know who works at Google in the New York office actually went to the AdSense desk there, and they pointed him to the FAQ page for disabled accounts, so I finally gave up the fight.


YouTube user VGReviewUnit:

I applied for Adsense, and a few of my friends decided to help me out by clicking some of the ads on my site. They got a bit overzealous and clicked them once a day for about 10 days. When I asked them to stop as it would be improper traffic and clicks and what not, it was already too late and I had been banned.


YouTube user BraindeadlyWorld, formerly BraindeadlyEU:

I basically had the same problem as the guy you wrote an article about his AdSense being banned because of an over-zealous fan - after wanting to leave Machinima to join Curse for months I finally got out of Machinima and also found out that my AdSense was banned too. I still have no idea why my AdSense was banned, I'm assuming it is someone who wanted to support me and clicked my ads a lot on my website.

I tried appealing 3 times, all attempts were rejected from Google.


From then on I've had to switch from my YouTube channel BraindeadlyEU which had over 43k subscribers to BraindeadlyWorld, which is owned by a close friend but I give videos to him to put there as it's not actually legal for me to post videos there myself technically. It's quite disheartening to me as people on YouTube basically watch videos on auto-pilot/are rather passive, naturally and it's really hard to get people to move over to another channel, so I ended up losing about 70% of my subscribers.


YouTube user Undertwolitre:

I recently had my Youtube adsense banned just as it was due to receive its first payment.
Apparently someone watched an ad on one of my videos a few times in a row so that makes me fraudulent.
Cool hey?



I'm afraid I'm not getting the gist here, these people had their friends/family click on ads on their videos but not buy anything because it would net them money from this adsense, and they were banned, and they are complaining?

I know one of those messages just said they were banned because a few people clicked on the ads, but the majority were exploiting a service to pay people for their videos providing advertisers with business. If the clicks aren't business but are just decoys to earn the video poster money, I think I support youtube booting them.

What is the argument? "I cheated the system effectively, pay me?!"

sorry boys, you'll have to grow some big tits and make pointless videos responding to any and every news story to make money online, it aint a fair world but its the one we live in