YouTube vs. Pro Wrestling: WCPW Protest Show Earns a Strike
Sunday, June 4, 2017
In the continuing battle against pro wrestling from YouTube, the website has made a devastating move to one of the hottest indy promotions in wrestling today. As noted previously, What Culture Pro Wrestling revealed that they had to put their weekly wrestling series on hold for the time being due to the company no longer being financially able to afford producing the shows. YouTube has labeled the sport of pro wrestling as "restricted content" and has dubbed most videos featuring the sport as being inappropriate. Multiple independent wrestling promotions have been hit hard by the loss of adsense, especially the UK-based What Culture Pro Wrestling.
On June 2nd, What Culture livestreamed a show from England entitled Fight Back with the name and logo made in reference to the YouTube policy changes. WCPW's Twitter account sent out a snapshot of a notification sent by YouTube. A strike was issued to the WCPW channel, which could be shut down permanently if the channel receives an additional two strikes. They have also taken down the entire show and the company's ability to livestream videos. WCPW is a separate channel from their WhatCulture and WhatCulture WWE channels, the latter of which has over one million subscribers, but losing the WCPW channel would still be a big blow for the still new wrestling promotion. YouTube's explanation for the strike reads: "Violation of YouTube's policy on spam and deceptive practices."
YouTube applied a series of policy changes when advertisements were showing up before actual offensive content, and some advertisers are beginning to pick and choose which channels to allow advertisements on. While the site may consider pro wrestling offensive, they never said anything about sports entertainment, hence why WWE has been able to work out an agreement to have ads placed back on their channel, but even they were not immune from this at first. Prior to the WCPW show starting, WhatCulture personality Adam Blampied encouraged everyone watching to share the video that was being shot and to sign a petition to have YouTube reconsider its current policy. This prompted chants of "F**k you YouTube!" from the crowd.
The petition is available to sign right here: https://www.change.org/p/google-inc-youtube-remove-wrestling-from-offensive-content-list