YouTube has suspended the NELK Boys from the Partner Program after viral videos showed the group participating in massive parties that created “a large public health risk.”
While the video publishing platform typically has no problems with the NELK Boys’ brand of content, the YouTubers have been found to encourage behavior that goes against social distancing guidelines across the country due to the ongoing public health crisis.
“If a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our ecosystem we take action to protect the community,” the Team YouTube account wrote. “We suspended the NELK channel from the Partner Program because they encouraged large numbers of people to disregard social distancing guidelines, creating a large public health risk.”
Among other things, the Partner Program lets YouTubers take full advantage of the site’s content creator features as well as a bevy of monetization schemes including ad revenue and channel memberships.
If a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our ecosystem we take action to protect the community. We suspended the NELK channel from the Partner Program because they encouraged large numbers of people to disregard social distancing guidelines, creating a large public health risk.
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) September 12, 2020
A suspension from the program cuts right into the net gains that a content creator could stand to make with every upload.
YouTube’s ruling is in relation to the videos that emerged on September 9 of an enormous party at Illinois State University. Videos show crowds of students filming, drinking, and generally avoiding the town’s social distancing mandates.
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A few ‘pop-up parties’ were dispersed on the night the NELK Boys were in the area, according to the town of Normal’s Chief of Police, Rick Bleichner. Local authorities found at least three different sites where crowds gathered throughout the night, with about 200 people at the final location, per The Pantagraph.
Normal Mayor Chris Koos, Illinois State University President Larry Dietz, and Bleichner agreed that identified students involved in the parties would have to face some sort of action for their involvement. Additional details weren’t disclosed but the NELK collective might also face consequences from the town for inciting the large gatherings, according to Koos.
The NELK Boys were also previously criticized after forming large ‘gym protests’ to open up Los Angeles facilities. YouTube briefly banned the channel from uploading videos for a separate incident that found one of their uploads to violate the “harmful and dangerous” policies of the site.
The infamous party boys have been facing a few infractions to their name, and while some people think NELK can’t ever be canceled, they’re starting to rack up penalties from their main platform.