Speculation over whether Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg was shadowbanned on YouTube exploded online when fans noticed that his channel no longer shows up in searches. Has the Swede been sidelined on the platform?
For over the last decade, PewDiePie has been seen as the face of YouTube for many. With over 107 million subscribers, he is the undisputed king of the popular video website.
However on October 22, fans became concerned that the 30-year-old was shadowbanned by Google after his channel disappeared from the platform’s search function.
Was PewDiePie shadowbanned on YouTube?
Fans began to notice something was amiss on October 22 when his latest video only received 45k views after almost being up for two hours. This is unusual as his content normally gains anywhere from 300-500k in that timeframe.
Speculation kicked into overdrive when people began to notice that Kjellberg’s channel no longer shows up when searching “PewDiePie” on YouTube – which is what people claim happens when Google supposedly shadowbans an account.
Popular entertainment reporter Def Noodles covered the discovery on Twitter, and posted examples of what happens when you search the personality’s channel on the platform. Dexerto can confirm at the time of writing that his channel does not show up when searching his name – though there’s no confirmation of a shadowban occuring.
BREAKING NEWS THAT WILL MOST DEFINITELY CHANGE YOUR LIFE: Pewdiepie may have been shadowbanned by YouTube. His channel no longer appears in search, and only 1 of his videos appears in top search results. His latest video got 34k views, 1k comments, 4.8k likes in 1 hour. pic.twitter.com/iCAffe4DZY
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) October 22, 2020
While it’s unclear whether the popular entertainer actually is shadowbanned, or if Google even does such a thing, it does appear that his latest video is getting substantially less views than it should be.
Twitter accounts began to point this out, such as one user who said, “In an hour he usually pulls in close to 500k Views. If this is true then youtube gonna be getting a lot of backlash. He hasn’t even done anything slightly controversial in a long time.”
The popular entertainer addressed the issue in a community message on October 22. “Yo, for some reason my videos aren’t showing up in sub box since yesterday so posting here,” he said, with a link to his latest upload.
Hours after his fans began reporting the issue, YouTube officially made a statement on Twitter about the situation and explained that it was because of an error, and not a shadowban. They also apologized for “any inconvenience this has caused.”
“We are hearing reports that PewDiePie’s channel and some videos are not surfacing within searches. We are currently working on fixing the issue,” they said. YouTube’s Ryan Wyatt also added, “Update on PDP. We’re on it! Thanks to the community for flagging us, we appreciate it!”
Update on PDP. We're on it! Thanks to the community for flagging with us, we appreciate it! I'm going to have a glass of wine tonight. https://t.co/GRtqVETk93
— Ryan Wyatt (@Fwiz) October 22, 2020
Around 5:22pm, viewers began to report that PewDiePie’s channel had been restored in the search engine. Def Noodles covered the update on Twitter stating “Pewdiepie shadowban appears to have been fixed by YouTube. Pewdiepie’s channel is now appearing in search results as well as his latest videos. No explanation yet on what caused the glitch.”
UPDATE: Pewdiepie shadowban appears to have been fixed by YouTube. Pewdiepie’s channel is now appearing in search results as well as his latest videos. No explanation yet on what caused the glitch. pic.twitter.com/zzrKDwUKms
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) October 23, 2020
PewDiePie supporters are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief knowing that YouTube hadn’t intentionally flagged the personality’s account, and that it was just a mistake.
Hopefully for them, his videos start appearing in their subscription boxes and everyone can soon forget about this unfortunate error.