YouTube Channel SRbrosentertainment Gets Taken Down After Refusing To Pay A $1000 Bribe

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Shukran and Roshan, formerly of SRbrosentertainment YouTube

YouTube needs a serious rework to their strike system .

Right now, anyone can claim a copyright strike on a channel and an automated bot will decide if it’s a valid claim. Without a human checking these claims, the bots tend to side with the entity making the copyright claim. If a channel accumulate three of these strikes, the channel is taken down from YouTube. This is exactly what happened to Shukran and Roshan of SRbrosentertainment, a channel with over 100,000 subscribers that was taken down off of YouTube after refusing to pay a $1000 bribe.

The two YouTubers behind SRbrosentertainment have been working on their channel for four years, developing a fan base and creating content that they are proud of. A few weeks ago, a channel called ZM Productions sent two copyright claims on an SRbrosentertainment iPhone giveaway video, even though the video in question contained no stolen, or even similar, content.

Then, ZM Productions – who in an email said that someone else was using their name and they weren’t the ones applying the strikes – sent an email to SRbros that warned they would have to send $1000 if they didn’t want another strike. Shukran and Roshan didn’t pay the bribe and now their main channel has been taken down. YouTube has been unresponsive, sending automated responses that say the problem will be resolved in “10 to 14 business days.”

On Saturday night, YouTube news and gossip channel Scarce broke the story and shared Shukran and Roshan’s story with the rest of the internet. The video is currently on the top of the reddit front page, filled with confusion about how this could have happened.

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The top comment on the video's reddit thread. Photo: reddit

YouTube cannot efficiently police its own videos. The platform has become so large that it’s nearly impossible for people to take a look at every copyright claim. Due to the nature of this broken system, robots who follow strict programming, side with the channel or company asking for the strike. This means nearly anyone with a grudge could take down a channel, regardless if there is justification or not.

Imagine putting years into becoming a YouTuber, devoting your life to your videos, only to have them taken down for no reason. It doesn't matter how big your channel is, a copyright strike claim will destroy your money –  just one strike and your channel can lose its ability to monetize it’s videos.   

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