YouTube Channel Terminated? Here’s How to Get Reinstated…

So your YouTube Channel — your baby that you’ve been pouring time & energy (and lots of money) into — has been suspended & instantly terminated…

I know…huge bummer bro…I’ve been there…

But fear not my bro — all is not lost!

It might take you a few weeks (or longer), but you can get your channel back. And you can build a stronger business in the process.

Here’s a quick guide of how we got our YouTube channel reinstated, and how I’d recommend you approach your termination & appeal…

1) Figure Out WTF Happened

Before doing anything else, you should first try to approximate exactly what the hell happened…

YouTube is not going to give you much information outside of the termination emails you received. So you need to start digging into YouTube Guidelines & Terms, and try to figure out a few things that might have happened…

Here’s the best resource I found for interpreting YouTube’s Guidelines & Terms.

When our channel was terminated, we had no idea what happened. The only thing we were sure of — is that we didn’t encourage any illegal activity (what YouTube accused us of)…

Our first appeal was quickly filed in a rush to get the channel back — and it was weak. The response on this original appeal was a permanent termination (we were never getting the channel back).

After spending 30-minutes going through that YouTube Terms resource, we were able to approximate 3-4 things that probably happened…

We still aren’t sure of what exactly did happen — but apparently we guessed correctly, because this 2nd appeal was quickly accepted (and our channel instantly came back online)…

Your Channel ID is NOT the same as your Custom URL…

I have to assume that Google is smart enough to connect an appeal from your Custom URL to your Channel ID — but let’s remove all doubt and do EXACTLY what they ask…

We found our Channel ID looking through our browser history (studio.youtube.com URLs all contain your Channel ID). But you can also find it through your Google Account Settings (or you could try Googling your Channel and looking at the cached URLs).

Once you have your Channel ID, you’re ready to write your actual appeal…

Your appeal itself is limited to 1,000 characters, so you’ve got to edit this down and make every word count. We literally spent time pruning extra words and everything we could to cram as much info into our (2nd) appeal as possible.

From my research, the best approach in writing your appeal is to either:

1) Deny everything and argue that this was a complete error that just needs to be reviewed by a human

Or…

2) Accept the blame and pledge to reform your behavior and become a better YouTuber

Which route you go with is going to depend on what you were actually terminated for, and if that termination was for a valid reason…

For us — we had never received a single warning or had a single strike, and we’re extremely careful to only teach white-hat strategies. So we know there was an algorithmic error that needed to be corrected.

But don’t just copy our appeal. You’ve got to address whatever YouTube thinks happened in order to get someone to take a real look at your appeal.

3) Email Creator Support

If your channel was large enough to have access to YouTube’s creator support, NOW is the time to use it!

I’ve only reached out to Creator Support twice in the 6-years I’ve been running YouTube channels, and each time I’ve received a quick response from an actual human being…

Although Creator Support won’t be able to override the decisions of Google’s review/moderation team — they can at least make sure your appeal is successfully filed and on the right track.

It’s important to remember that the person responding to your emails has absolutely nothing to do with your channel being terminated. I can only imagine the hate these poor guys get every day, being the punching bag for these algorithms gone wild…

So try to be nice to your support agents. It could be the difference in them ‘cutting you some slack’ vs them ‘giving you the finger’…

4) Post on YouTube’s Support Forums

In my research to get our channel back, I found a LOT of people who posted on YouTube’s Support Forums — and they eventually DID get their channels back…

Your goal here is really just to get a person to take a real legitimate look at your channel. If you’ve been doing things that are actually against TOS here — there’s no saving you…

But if your goal is to get that real human review — there’s lots of YouTube employees on the forums who have the power to expedite & escalate your appeal (if they see the need).

Here’s the post we made on the forums. It didn’t make a difference in our case, but you can scroll around and find many cases where it did…

5) Tweet @TeamYouTube

Another channel to get someone’s attention at YouTube is their twitter, specifically the @TeamYouTube account…

I doubt YouTube’s Twitter Team has much power to change anything about your appeal. But it doesn’t take much time to start a tweet-storm, so why not give it a shot…

We had everybody from our audience tweet out 2-3 pre-made tweets we made for them — and I actually think that was a bad approach, because it made it look much more like bots & fake accounts…

For you — I’d recommend making one solid tweet, then asking your audience & everybody you know to Retweet that…

You can check out the tweet we put together for our Retweet campaign here (although we actually got the channel back before running the campaign, so there’s no retweets on ours).

6) Post On Your Website

YouTube doesn’t want to kick off creators with audiences and platforms. They’re not dumb — they want YOUR traffic…

So if you have your own website or audience, you’ve got to leverage them and SHOW YouTube that you HAVE a REAL audience!

Most of what’s getting terminated off YouTube is meaningless copy-cat content — borderline (or literal) spam. So the more you can make YouTube realize you’re NOT them, the quicker your channel comes back online!

Although we are not 100% sure, we actually think THIS was the step that got our channel reinstated…

We posted 2 articles on our website about our channel being terminated — the original one the day we were suspended, and another one 14-days after we had not heard back…

20-minutes after publishing the 2nd article (which was a pretty scathing critique of YouTube), we got an unsolicited-ish email from someone named Lei at Creator Support…

We have no idea how Lei came into the picture, or why he decided to read into our case. But once he got involved — we had our channel back within 24-hours…

It’s safe to assume that Google has some pretty sophisticated ‘listening software’ keeping track of who is saying what. So our bet is that our 2nd post popped up on someone’s dashboard immediately after publishing, and that some put Lei on the job to nip it in the bud.

So leverage every channel you’ve got to make noise — because once the right person decides to get involved, your channel can come back fast.

7) What Else Could We Do?

Our next step was to start contacting journalists and podcasters to either get the channel back, or leverage the situation to rebuild our lost audience…

There’s a ton of anecdotal evidence that YouTube plays favorites with the appeals process — particularly when the news and ‘authoritative websites’ start running the story.

Another idea we had was to start sending Express FedEx envelopes to different people inside of YouTube explaining the situation & groveling to get our channel back. This can work well because almost nobody is going to throw away a FedEx Express envelope — so at least you know a real human being will see it.

Most Importantly — DIVERSIFY

The most important lesson we learned — was to never depend on a platform like YouTube…

We’re changing up our entire video distribution strategy because of this. And I’ll have another post next week about that!