Realizing that the “solution” may have been creating more of a problem than had originally existed, it appears that Nikola has stopped going after content creators on YouTube for making critical content about the company.
Recall, last week we reported that the embattled EV maker appeared to be in the midst of a damage control campaign that included trying to claw back some of its online image and credibility. As part and parcel with this strategy, the company was reportedly taking a stance against YouTube critics, “forcing the removal of several videos on YouTube over alleged copyright infringement issues,” according to EV blog Teslarati.
The actions were initially reported by the Financial Times, who asserted that numerous channels on YouTube that are known for discussing the market or electric vehicles had all received takedown notices related to content about Nikola. Several videos had been removed from the platform, according to the same report.
“Another large corporation uses YouTube’s copyright system to silence criticism,” one blog wrote.
One vlogger, Sam Alexander, said he received notifications on Wednesday that “at least four of his videos” were reported for copyright infringement. The four videos in question all featured clips of Nikola’s “Nikola One In Motion” video, which was revealed by short seller Hindenburg Research – and confirmed by the company – to be video of a semi truck rolling down a hill without the power of a working powertrain, despite the video description listing the Nikola One as having “1,000 HP”.
Another content creator, Tom Nash (pictured above courtesy of ReclaimTheNet.org), said he was “required to take down three critical Nikola videos” including one that featured the same video of the Nikola One rolling down the hill. Nash has 41,000 subscribers on his channel.
The YouTube community rallied around many of these users, who made even more videos talking about how they felt they were being censored by the company. The voice of the content creators, coupled with the mainstream media coverage, seems to have forced Nikola to back off, according to a new report.
“Nikola evidently had second thoughts after the backlash. A company spokesperson told The Register that the removed videos had been restored as of 21:06 GMT on Friday,” the Register reported early this weekend.
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