YouTuber Uncovers Potentially Big Google+ Security Flaw

/ Nov 22, 2013


YouTube creator Michael Janitch woke up on November 19 to find that his YouTube channel was shut down. Janitch, who goes by the name Dutchsinse on YouTube, had lost every one of his videos and total access to Google+ content. In an instant, Janitch lost 800+ videos and 75,000 subscribers — so how did it happen?

According to Janitch, his account was “easily” terminated after his Google+ account was marked as an “impersonator” by an anonymous source. Previous to the mass shutdown, Janitch says he had neither strikes nor violations on his account. In fact, he claims that he did not receive a formal email or notification from YouTube alerting him of the impersonator flag.

Janitch writes: “They can do it anonymously, with no warning, and with no recourse by you to fix it, except, to SEND A PHOTO ID OF YOURSELF to G+ to prove you are who you say you are.”

In order to reinstate his account, the YouTube creator explains that he had to send a photo ID to Google proving that he is Dutchsinse. Unfortunately, Janitch’s ID is under his real name and not his Google+ user name, which is also Dutchsinse. “I sent them a copy of my passport 48 hours ago, filled out the form with my real name, never even received a confirmation reply that they received it,” writes Janitch.

He continues, pointing out the underlying issue behind this entire ordeal, saying, “There was no recourse to solve this. No link to click on, no email to send, and no option to dispute.”

Naturally, this could prove to be a massive problem for other YouTube creators who now have their channels synced to Google+ accounts. If it only takes a impersonator flag to have all of your content removed, as Janitch claims it does, then thousands of YouTube creators are in danger of having their channels stripped on false allegations.

“Anyone can get shut down this way. Maybe a few larger channels will get slammed, then google might take notice,” Janitch writes. “Right now, they’re not responding to any of my contact attempts.”

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