So Long Google, and Thanks for All the Fish
Thx, Google and YouTube. I got what I paid for …
I joined Gmail at the end of 2005. It was not invite-only anymore but still restricted in some countries. It was a novel service compared to my previous one, freemail.hu … if you live in Hungary, you know … Anyway, I am still using Gmail as my primary email after 17 years, and I still have not run out of storage. Even though I am paying money for an encrypted email service, searching in that one is pretty bulky, so I only use that one for online shopping, healthcare, and other sensitive topics where I don’t want Google to know everything. I uploaded my first hacking-related YouTube video in 2012. I wrote my first blog post on Blogger/Blogspot in 2013, when my friend invited me to write some new hacking-related content on his blog. As you can see, I was a happy Google user … until I was not.
On February 27, 2021, I got an email from “YouTube team” that my video with the title “IoT hack - IP camera via cloud password brute-force” was removed because it violated the “Harmful or dangerous content policies”. I understand that via keyword-search or quickly looking at the video it got flagged. I disagree with removing the video, as it was about warning of the dangers and did not provide any step-by-step guide or link to hacking codes. But I understand that mistakes happen. What made things worse is that they deleted the video, and I could not access it via YouTube Studio. This is a terrible practice. Please change it.
I felt that appealing would not resolve the issue, so I did the opposite. I emailed them that, “in this case, they should delete all of my videos”. Right after clicking on the send button, I got an instant reply. They “carefully” checked my appeal but will not change their mind. Clearly they did not check the mail. I also reached out for help on Twitter, and a nice hacker guy working for Google helped me , but unfortunately, the issue was not resolved. I moved on. I still do not know what will be the best place to host my educational hacking videos.
On August 21, 2022, I got a mail from the Blogger team. They have unpublished one of my posts because it violated their guideline, especially the “Malware and Viruses policy” Honestly, I don’t know how this blog post could have violated it, as this describes how I passed a blue team-related exam. Yes, the post discussed malware, but not a single piece of code or anything suspicious was published in the blog post. As that would have spoiled the fun … The good news is that they did not delete the post, at least.
I think I can’t complain as I was “only” paying with my personal data for Google, so I got what one could expect … But I believe it is time to migrate from Google totally if you want to publish any educational-related hacking material. For the time being, maybe it is time that I start to flag all of their Project Zero blog posts, as they clearly violate their guidelines … And let’s hope Microsoft will not delete the hacking-related blog posts on GitHub pages.