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YouTube removes Bee Movie memes due to its policy on spam, deception and scams (update)

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‘So it’s gone’

Dreamworks

Yesterday, Darcy Grivas had a YouTube account with memes of the 2007 animated film, Bee Movie, that had garnered millions of views. Today, YouTube has removed all but three.

According to a description that appears on some of Grivas’ older videos, the videos were removed because they violated the company’s policy on spam, deceptive practices and scams. More than 10 videos were removed in total, including Grivas’ new version of the meme that he applied to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

YouTube

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to a video being deemed as spam, deceptive content or a scam, including misleading images, tags or metadata.

Based on the content that was included in the videos — different versions of the Bee Movie trailer and film slowed down, sped up or otherwise warped for comedic purposes — it seems like Grivas may have violated YouTube’s rule on video and comment spam. Essentially, because Grivas posted the same type of video multiple times over the course of two weeks, YouTube staff could have viewed the replication of the idea as a form of spam.

“It's not okay to post large amounts of untargeted, unwanted, or repetitive content in videos, comments, private messages, or other places on the site,” the description reads on YouTube’s FAQ page. “We are constantly working to keep YouTube free of spam, scams and other deceptive practices that attempt to take advantage of the YouTube community.”

In a post on the Melbourne Bee Team’s Facebook Group, where Grivas originally got the idea for his project, he wrote that despite their best efforts, the series was officially over thanks to YouTube pulling the videos.

“So it’s gone, but it ended with seven million views, 300,000 likes and was seventh on trending,” Grivas wrote. “I think that’s worth remembering.”

Others in the group commended Grivas for his contribution to the meme, with one member proclaiming that they would all miss “the glorious seven minute Bee Movie.”

There are other versions of the meme that are still available to watch on YouTube, and it’s unclear if the company has plans to remove all of them at this time. Polygon has reached out to YouTube for comment on the removal.

Three of the meme-inspired videos that Grivas made are still available to watch on his backup YouTube channel, Avoid at All Costs.

Update: As of Wednesday night, YouTube had removed the violation disclaimer and added the videos back to its website. Grivas reached out to Polygon to confirm that everything was fine and he was free to continue uploading videos to his series. YouTube has yet to respond to Polygon’s questions about why the videos were removed in the first place.