YouTuber Calvin 'Leafyishere' Lee Vai has had his account permanently terminated by the platform, after his return from a long hiatus, where he began making a series of videos about other content creators, primarily streamer Imane 'Pokimane' Anys.
Update on August 24 at 12:09 PM
A YouTube spokesperson confirmed that Leafy's ban was intentional and will be permanent, clarifying the company's stance on the type of content featured on his channel, per The Verge.
"We have strict policies that prohibit harassment on YouTube, and we remove content that violates our policies when flagged to our attention. Channels that repeatedly violate our policies will be terminated,” they said.
Original story follows below.
Having experienced one of the fastest rises to YouTube fame a few years ago, Leafy randomly left the platform, and ceased making videos for almost two years.
He returned in 2020, first making drama oriented videos about other popular channels including iDubbz, H3H3, and KEEMSTAR.
However, in July, his attention to turned to Twitch streamer Pokimane, starting with his 'content nuke' video, and subsequent follow-up videos. In them, he criticized and mocked not only her content, but also her appearance and claimed to 'expose' her for having a secret relationship.
These videos quickly went viral, causing a stir in the community. Pokimane actually took a break from streaming in the wake of the videos, before releasing an apology video that addressed some of the incidents raised by Leafy.
Leafy's YouTube channel terminated
On August 21, Leafy's YouTube account was terminated for "multiple or severe violations of YouTube's policy prohibiting content designed to harass, bully or threaten."
The reason for his ban clearly alludes to the series of videos about Pokimane, but also other creators.
However, while some welcomed the ban, YouTuber Scarce has advised caution, as YouTube's action against Leafy could be indicative of further action against other creators, perhaps less controversial.
Even if you weren’t a fan of his videos, Leafy’s termination is very, very, concerning. Leafy being terminated now means any of us could be next.
— Scarce (@JohnScarce) August 22, 2020
Leafy addresses YouTube ban
Leafy posted on Twitter about his account's termination on August 22, asking the platform for clarification of the reason. Tagging YouTube's CEO, Susan Wojcicki, he asked "is there anything I could do to get it reinstated. Or is there any statement on this you could give."
Morning @TeamYouTube my channel was suspended yesterday, curious if there is anything I could do to get it reinstated. Or if there is any statement on this you could give on this
Adding handles @youtube @SusanWojcicki @h3h3productions @YouTubeGaming pic.twitter.com/29N2lW0DFA
— Leafy (@Leafy) August 22, 2020
He says that he did not receive any strikes on his channel at all, just a suspension with no warning.
checked emails didnt get strike combos just suspension
— Leafy (@Leafy) August 23, 2020
Pokimane says she had nothing do with it
As news of Leafy's ban spread on social media, Pokimane herself chose to make very clear that she had no part to play in the termination.
She said, "I don't want my silence to leave room for assumptions."
i know i'm going to get asked this, so i'd like to clarify i had nothing to do with leafy's ban.
— pokimane (@pokimanelol) August 22, 2020
It's possible that Leafy could simply create a new channel and continue his content there, but he loses millions of subscribers, and YouTube will surely have a keen eye on him going forward.