UPDATE Jan 3, 2024, 1pm ET – Grant Lyon’s channel has now been reactivated by YouTube. Lyon said on Twitter, “To everyone that helped lend their voice to my YouTube channel deletion saga, it worked!!! YouTube reinstated my channel yesterday with an email that basically said, ‘After a closer look, you’re not in violation. Our mistake.’ Thank you to everyone that shared and commented!”
Board game video content maker Grant Lyon says he is still in the dark about why his popular YouTube channel was deleted two weeks ago amid accusations of ‘spam, scams and deceptive practices’.
Professional comedian Lyon had racked up almost 1.5 million views across over 600 videos ahead of his channel’s deletion on December 21.
Lyon, who specialises in regular game recommendation and release round-up videos with a comedy leaning, vehemently denies engaging in any of the behaviours listed by YouTube as the reasons for the removal.
He told BoardGameWire, “I received the initial email that my channel was deleted. I appealed that decision and got a response that my appeal was denied and my channel was permanently deleted for ‘spam, scams and deceptive practices’.
“That’s when I took to X [on December 23] because I heard from several others that was a good platform to get their attention.
“Within a few hours, they tweeted back at me that they were going to look into it more. Then this morning [December 2] I heard from them again that they are still looking into it and thanks for my patience. That’s all I’ve heard so far.
“I legitimately don’t understand how anything I was doing falls under the banner of scams or deceptive practices.
“And if I did something that was, it would be nice to get a flag or a warning or a notice so I could correct the behavior. But all I got was the permanent channel deletion, no warning or anything beforehand.
“I’m lucky that I wasn’t dependent on my channel for my livelihood, but there’s still a lot of work that goes into to running and building a channel, and it’s frustrating all that work can be wiped away without so much as a conversation.
“And the timing was also frustrating. Around the holidays is the time that board game channels grow the most because people are actively looking for game ideas.
“I had a whole slate of content planned and wasn’t able to post the majority of it.”
Lyon had more than 8,500 subscribers to his channel ahead of its deletion, and was bringing in between 20,000 and 30,000 views per month.
BoardGameWire has approached YouTube for futher information about the ban, but is yet to receive a response.
The channel’s deletion led to an outpouring of support on Twitter from industry voices, including The Dice Tower’s Chris Yi, Star Wars Rebellion designer Corey Konieczka, fellow board game YouTuber Banzainator and the Rolling Dice & Taking Names podcast.
Two days before Grant Lyon’s account was deleted, fellow board game content creator Ruel Gaviola was briefly suspended by Twitch, which said it believed the account was bot-driven or automated.
His account was reinstated later that day, with the error attributed to confusion over regular messages being sent to Twitch subscribers of board game reviewer Rahdo, for whom Gaviola acts as Twitch account manager.
Those messages were marked as spam and Rahdo’s Twitch account was also briefly suspended, before similarly being restored later that day.