Fans of YouTube user Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach were met with an unpleasant surprise this week, with viewers receiving undue account bans from Google’s video platform after participating in a livestream chat. Markiplier took to the service to express his frustration with the issue in a video posted Saturday.
Originally from Honolulu, HI and currently based in Los Angeles, Markiplier has 24 million YouTube subscribers and has become one of the platform’s best known dedicated gaming channels since initially launching in 2012, entertaining viewers around the world with funny game playthroughs and original content. With the recent debut of his YouTube original series, A Heist With Markiplier, the internet personality hoped to mark the occasion with an interactive stream that asked fans to vote on prompts by sending strings of particular emotes in his channel’s chat box.
Viewer reports of suspended accounts began to come in about an hour into the stream, with many sharing screenshots of limited access to YouTube services or their entire Google accounts, including separate platforms like Gmail, and immediate rejections of appeals to keep their accounts active. Subscribers with paid memberships to Markiplier’s channel also lost their benefits after being marked by the platform’s automated system. The moderation team caught on to the problem and advised viewers to refrain from voting with emotes, but the damage had already been done.
“It’s so unbelievably frustrating,” Markiplier said in a video addressing the issue, which isn't the first time YouTube has faced user and creator backlash. “I hope that this is getting fixed, but I gave them time to get back to me. This was two days ago. They’re out of time.”
Markiplier also noted that the issue was a personal one for him, noting that he lost his own account to similar issues with YouTube's automated copyright system in his early days. “Back in 2012, YouTube decided to automatically ban my AdSense account, for no reason, and my appeal got denied. I could have quit YouTube right then and there. I had to make a new channel and start over fresh.”
YouTube and Markiplier had an exchange regarding the issue on Twitter:
Hi Mark - Apologies this happened and thanks for bringing it to our attention. The accounts have been reinstated and we're looking into why the appeals were denied and how we can prevent this in the future.— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) November 9, 2019
Hello. I appreciate the update but there are still issues. Not all accounts are reinstated. Some are missing videos. What assurance do I have that people won’t be banned again during streams in the future? Why were they banned in the first place? Why ban their google accounts?— Markiplier (@markiplier) November 9, 2019
With more than 7 billion views to his name, Markiplier stands as one of YouTube's most influential users. The site’s willingness to work with his channel directly on content creation highlights him as a valuable asset, and it would be in YouTube's best interest to keep him and the fans who helped make his name on its side, even if it means rethinking the automated systems that moderate the service for everyone.
Source: Markiplier on YouTube