Motherboard reports that some scammers are using YouTube's "three strikes" takedown policy to extort money from legitimate YouTube channels. While the larger profile of popular channels might offer some protection, smaller channels seem to be particularly exposed. The ~8000-subscriber "ObbyRaidz" and "Kenzo" gaming channels, for example, were hit with 2 strikes by someone calling themselves "VengefulFlame, and were threatened with a potentially damaging 3rd strike if they didn't pay a Bitcoin or PayPal ransom. While "suspicious" copyright violation claims supposedly have to be verified by human YouTube staff, apparently, VengefulFlame "complied with the company's request, and YouTube wrongly took down the videos." Automatic scans and manual takedown requests on YouTube often demonetize videos that use a second or two of copyrighted content in compliance with fair use laws, meaning money a creator would've made on the video is taken away, or diverted to the claimant. Sometimes, the video in question might contain no copyrighted material at all. Worse, creators say trying to get in touch with an actual human at the company to reverse the decision can be a nightmare. "I'm legitimately surprised it took this long" for scammers to start extorting channels, Katharine Trendacosta, a policy analyst at digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Motherboard. "The system is set up to incentivize false reports, and it is so bad at catching them and punishing people for making false reports."