Is PewDiePie Actually 'Shadowbanned' From YouTube?

Devan McGuinness - Author

Feb. 16 2021, Updated 2:08 p.m. ET

YouTuber PewDiePie
Source: Instagram

YouTube has millions of content producers but there are some that stand out above the crowd. Usually they have the largest platforms, the most dedicated fans, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. However, fans are concerned that PewDiePie is shadowbanned after complaints of not being able to search out his channel, which is one of the most viewed on the platform. Here's what we know. 

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Is PewDiePie shadowbanned from YouTube?

Rumors began to swirl on social media that Felix Kjellberg’s PewDiePie channel was shadowbanned by the streaming platform. According to HubSpot, shadowbanning means "the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community so that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned."

In a nutshell, fans of PewDiePie were sharing on social media that they would search for his channel on the platform and not receive the information back that they would expect. One user shared a screengrab video of what happened when they attempted to find PewDiePie on YouTube and wrote, "Why isn’t @pewdiepie‘s channel showing up @YouTube? Everyone else’s channels are there. Trying to get rid of him lol?"

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It didn't take long for these claims to start trending on Twitter with people asking what was going on with his account. Others said that they would search for the YouTuber on the platform and only very old videos would come up — none of his newer content. Though he had just uploaded a video a few hours prior, fans were struggling to find it, with followers saying that they never were notified that it went up.

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Several other Twitter users mentioned they didn't believe this was a deliberate shadowbanning situation with YouTube. Given the streamer had recently signed a big deal with YouTube, it would seem unusual for the company to limit his reach on purpose.

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In May 2020, PewDiePie signed an exclusive live-streaming deal with YouTube. With his nearly 154 million subscribers on YouTube, he has the second-most subscriptions of any other channel on there. All of this is what landed him a major deal —so why would YouTube be attempting to sabotage that deal and PewDiePie's "25 billion views to date" as one of the biggest individually operated YouTube channels in history?

YouTube addressed the concerns on Twitter and had an answer for PewDiePie's fans.

TeamYouTube on Twitter, the company's official account that gives updates and answers from the company, addressed the rumors and concerns that PewDiePie had been shadowbanned. 

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"YouTube doesn't shadowban channels," the company said in a tweet. "It’s possible the video was flagged by our systems as potentially violative & needs to be reviewed first before it shows up in search, etc. Note that reviews are taking longer since we have limited teams due to COVID-19."

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According to Polygon, they were also only able to see old PewDiePie videos, an issue that YouTube addressed for them.

"We are hearing reports that PewDiePie’s channel and some videos are not surfacing within searches," the company said to the publication. "We are currently working on fixing the issue. We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused."

At this time, our searches show that looking up "PewDiePie" on YouTube will yield his channel, as well as his most recent videos. It appears that fans don't have to be too worried about a shadowban at this time.

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