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Google Bans Instructional Hacking Videos

Instructional videos regarding hacking and phishing videos have become prevalent on multiple platforms throughout the years, with Youtube being a big proponent of them. Google however, has been taking steps to keep them at bay through a series of bans. Although this content ban has been in effect since earlier this year, Google has seemingly begun enforcing their removal of instructional hacking/phishing videos on YouTube. In efforts to reduce cyber-based attacks, Google believes that banning these tutorials will deter users with malicious intent. However, this new content ban has left many ethical hackers, along with avid members of the hacking community, less than content.

Google has immediately begun enforcing the ban, removing content from many of the platform’s creators. Gone are the days of simple demonetization. Creators are now receiving warnings and strikes on their previously uploaded videos. According to YouTube’s community guidelines, hacking instructionals fall under the category of “harmful or dangerous content”. Most famously, content creator Kody Kinzie’s (Null Byte) channel received a flag for a 4th of July video showing how to launch fireworks over Wi-Fi. YouTube then replied with an “oops, didn’t mean to…” response.

What will this mean for the future of content creators in the information security field? There are many who believe enforcing this ruleset will be counter-intuitive and ultimately move video makers to alternate hosting platforms. YouTube has dealt with community backlash, and the ambiguous nature of this ban is sure to ignite some less than favorable opinions.

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