A Frisco web designer and internet marketing specialist, who also happens to be a recovering addict, says YouTube has the wrong idea about the message inherent in his popular YouTube channel and is threatening to shut it down.
Philip Markoff, 28, says his addictions began at the age of 17. But now clean and sober for several years, he's channeled his newfound energy into an online presence where he offers his journey and his advice to other addicts struggling with the same problems.
Online he calls himself CG Kid, aka Crazy Ginger Kid, and in more than 100 vlogs has talked about alcoholism, specific drugs, and his path to sobriety.
"And I hope that gives you guys hope that sobriety is possible," he often says in the videos.
"And spreading that awareness I think is critical," Markoff told WFAA.
And it's been popular.
He has more than 42,000 subscribers and in three years his videos have been viewed more than 3.5 million times.
"To let them know that you've been there and then offer a hand to help or give them some kind of hope that it is possible to stay sober," he said.
But a week ago he says YouTube, trying to limit the rampant dangerous content on its site, determined that one of his videos was a violation of their policy on harmful or dangerous content. Software for searching for keys words like meth, cocaine, or DMT flagged one of CG Kid's videos, then a second. And if he gets a third strike, YouTube could shut his channel down.
"So the algorithm is attacking a ton of videos," Markoff said. "And it just doesn't seem fair when there's a lot of videos with far more stuff that violates the guidelines."
In case YouTube does shut him down Markoff is putting all of his videos on his own website, ShamelessProtocol.com. And, as a rapper and musician, tries to reach recovering addicts through his music as well.
YouTube policy does say that a video about something harmful like drug use will be allowed if it is considered educational in nature.
"Videos that we consider to encourage dangerous or illegal activities include instructional bomb making, choking games, hard drugs use, or other acts where serious injury may result," YouTube says in its online policy. "A video that depicts dangerous acts may be allowed if the primary purpose is educating, documentary, scientific, or artistic and isn't gratuitously graphic."
That's what Markoff is hoping they will eventually decide.
"But I think that the censorship algorithm is having a bug or it's broken and its taking out channels that are actually benefitting the world."
YouTube or not, that's something he plans to keep doing.
WFAA reached out to YouTube via email on Monday afternoon but has not yet heard back.