The Act Man Interview: Silenced by the platform he’s fighting to make better

. 2 weeks ago
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Seemingly scorned by YouTube, The Act Man lies in creator limbo awaiting the verdict on his channels monetization. But how does one come back from being deplatformed by the company who signs their checks?

Before tens of thousands of Twitter users would post #JusticeForActMan, before YouTube would choose to remove monetization from his channel, before a community of creators would band together to oppose the platform’s actions, before the critique of an Elden Ring review would launch a two-month investigation, The Act Man was a creator known well-enough for his comedic game-oriented video essays.

In April 2022, The Act Man launched an investigation into the online actions of fellow creator Quantum TV. Becoming frustrated with YouTube’s lack of action despite the evidence he provided, the creator took to Twitter to post a series of satirical tweets, including one where he mentioned doxxing the employees of YouTube and their families. This tweet ultimately resulted in the demonetization of his channel.

Now, as a result of The Act Man’s intense investigation and emotional attachment thereof, he stands against two adversaries: the subject of his scrutinizing investigation and the platform that seemingly refuses to hear his pleas.

In less than a week, Act Man went from being one of YouTube’s most-watched detectives to having his main source of income stripped away. So, how does a highly-praised creator continue moving forward despite several major setbacks?

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The Act Man took on the persona of The Act Attorney in his video series investigating fellow creator Quantum TV

A forced hiatus for The Act Man

Following the removal of monetization on his channel, The Act Man announced he would be taking a break from making videos because of the potential risk of uploading. In an interview with Dexerto, he claimed a lot of “strange things” had been happening to his channel as well as those of other creators.

“I had two videos that were age-restricted that were completely unrelated. Reaction streams to the video were taken down or demonetized. Asmongold’s video was demonetized. Review USA had a stream that was taken down. Another channel was actually totally suspended for making two videos,” The Act Man shared.

He even claimed a friend of his tested video titles with various key phrases like “copyright abuse”, “false flagging”, and variations of “The Act Man” — all of which were demonetized. According to him, these actions are striking fear in the hearts of the greater community.

“It’s not just me getting screwed,” he stated. “There are people that are afraid to show a blurred image of a guy with poorly Photoshopped cucumber. Because they don’t know if that’s okay, if that’s considered nudity, if they’re going to get taken down for that.”

But beyond the fear of what YouTube might do, The Act Man expressed how demoralizing it feels to be silenced by the platform. “I don’t make videos for the sole reason that I make money, but I have to. If I can justify the time to make these videos, then I have to make money on it. And I just, I can’t really focus on just normal game content or go back to that at this point in time.”

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The Act Man’s latest video covering Quantum TV was taken down for “unwanted sexualization.”

Is moral support enough?

While facing the Goliath that is YouTube, The Act Man has captured the attention of some of the platform’s largest and most influential creators. Now, these creative titans have become allies in his fight for platform justice, but is the solace of their support enough?

“It’s really cool that I got to talk to [Philip] DeFranco and Keemstar. A lot of great content creators have reached out,” Act Man said. “But then I hear from some guy whose channel was suspended for talking about this issue. I go back to feeling depressed and the reality of this situation.”

Through this experience, a number of creators have “crawled out of the woodwork” to show their support for The Act Man, but this situation has already caused irreparable damage.

“The trauma of what has happened… I don’t know if YouTube is going to fix that. Are they going to f**k off and pretend this didn’t happen?”

“If you get fired from your job because you brought a cucumber to work and you’re fighting to come back – and you do come back – you’re like, am I really safe here?”

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The Act Man’s entire channel was demonetized for a satirical tweet where he mentioned doxxing YouTube employees

There’s no going back now

Dexerto asked The Act Man if he would change anything he had done up to this point that ultimately led to his demonization. Unsurprisingly, the creator stood his ground.

“I don’t think I would because, you know, I really went hard trying to expose the terrible things this guy has done,” he explained. “Maybe a tweet here or there, but I think everything happens for a reason.”

Despite feeling unwelcome if he were to return to YouTube, The Act Man also thinks a perfect resolution is still possible. “At this point, a lot of things need to happen.”

The Act Man listed the following changes he’d like to see from the platform for a perfect resolution:

  • Reinstate monetization of his channel
  • Both videos that were age-restricted be unrestricted
  • YouTube needs to launch a real investigation into Quantum TV
  • Clear concise rules for what copyright abuse really is/policy reform
  • A public apology from YouTube

“A public apology for mishandling the situation from YouTube I think could go a long way and that would make me feel very good and vindicated that they understand that they messed up,” the Act Man responded. “I think it’s important to take accountability when you mess up.”

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The Act Man is using his voice on social media to bring awareness to his situation with YouTube

Is the war with Quantum TV over?

Some would see the demonization, along with YouTube’s not-guilty verdict, as Quantum TV winning this feud. But Act Man isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.

After being asked if he’d be willing to give up his pursuit of Quantum if it meant he’d be remonetized, Act Man replied he wouldn’t.

“No. What he’s done is so f**king terrible, like the number of content creators he’s harassed… He’s not going to stop doing these terrible things until he’s forcibly removed,” he explained.

As an example, Act Man referenced 16-year-old content creator Mischief, who’s been involved in the situation from the start. He claims Quantum TV is still harassing this creator. “I would rather YouTube be a better place without me than a terrible place with me.”

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What happens in the next act?

While the masses appear to be on The Act Man’s side, it’s still YouTube’s call on whether or not he can continue making money on the platform — which is his main source of income.

So, what happens if The Act Man’s indefinite ban extends beyond 30 days into oblivion? “What I will say is thank God I made a twitch account,” he responded.

If his channel does get remonetized and he feels comfortable on the platform though, he said he wants to return to his roots and make more gaming content. While he does feel there’s a space on YouTube for “watchdog” channels that look out for copyright abusers and harassment on the platform — however, a series like the investigation into Quantum TV won’t be his normal content.

A number of users on Twitter have advised Act Man to take legal action — something he’s already considered.

“I’m not super familiar with the laws, or what exact laws have been violated,” Act Man admitted. “I’ve briefly talked with a couple of attorneys and I may continue talks with them in the future. I can’t say for certain, but it’s something that I think I have to consider.”

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The Act Man will continue to stream on Twitch in light of YouTube’s actions against him

Beyond his worries for the future of his career in content creation, he also explained how this whole situation has instilled a fear in him, and his family, for what could happen.

The Act Man’s mother was even contacted by Quantum TV after he had found her personal information online. This roped her into a situation the creator believes should have stayed online.

Act Man said his mother keeps close tabs on the situation and often references videos from other content creators he hasn’t seen yet, “It illustrates the kind of invasion of privacy this has been.”

While he carries a strong persona online, often sharing memes to his Twitter followers, it’s apparent this situation has taken an emotional toll on The Act Man and those close to him.

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