YouTube SUCKS! Won’t Fix False Flagging Problem

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Hey Everyone,

It’s RARE that I SINCERELY ask for your help with something; but this is one of those times…so please take a few minutes and really look at what this blog post is saying.

You’ll notice that unlike almost EVERY SINGLE ONE of my other videos on this blog, the one below is NOT hosted by YouTube. It’s actually hosted by a company called Viddler.


Because my YouTube account ( is currently on probation and I’m restricted from uploading videos to my account?

Why did my account get in trouble?

It’s because of something called “False Flagging”. And because YouTube refuses to do anything about this problem…the account that I’ve spent the last 3 yrs building runs the risk of being completely turned off in the next few months.

Watch This Video To Discover What “False Flagging” Is All About!


What can you do to help?


Pick 3 (out of the 5) options below and do them now (this will take you less tan 5 minutes).

1. “Like” The YouTube False Flagging Sucks fan page I created by CLICKING HERE and then post the following to your twitter account:

“Dear @YouTube …Why Do You Continue To Refuse To Address The False Flagging Problem?”

2. Go To The YouTube Suggestion Area here:

Click on “Feedback & Suggestions” at the bottom of the page and suggest (in your own words) that YouTube cracks down on false flagging, and provides it’s users a LEGITIMATE way to rebut the videos that have been false flagged, and/or just communicate with their users and tell them WHY their video was false flagged so that they can fix it

3. Use any of the information below to contact YouTube and ask them why they refuse to address the false flagging issue:

YouTube’s Phone Number: 1-650-253-0000
YouTube’s Fax Number: 1-650-253-0001

Email Addresses:

4. Email anyone you personally know who works for YouTube and ask them to check out this blog post/video and ask them to address the false flagging issue.

Here’s the link to this blog post:

Feel free to leave a comment below to report your findings/results

5. Take the article below and re-post it on your blog or submit it to any media outlets you know (just be sure to leave the article fully in tact)

Thanks In Advance For Your Help,
Devon Brown


YouTube Spits In The Face Of Its Users By Refusing To Address Their False Flagging Problem

By: Devon Brown

Go to Google. Do a search for “YouTube False Flagging” or “YouTube False Flagging Problem”. It won’t take you long to find scores of individuals who have been affected by this issue.

So what is False Flagging? While the original meaning has more to do with deceiving an individual or group into believing something that is untrue so as to carry out an agenda (usually in a military or political context); False Flagging has a slightly different meaning with regard to the world of YouTube.

You see, YouTube is a community of users who post and share videos. As with any community (especially communities of the Social Media/Web 2.0 variety), there are inherent rules put in place to serve the best interest of the community. YouTube refers to these rules as “Community Guidelines”. Examples of community guidelines may include things like: no pornography, no hate speech, no commenting excessively on the videos of others for the sheer purpose of advertising your webpage, no spamming, no videos making threats, no predatory behavior/bullying, etc…

When one community member sees another community member who is breaking these rules (or, if a YouTube admin feels like the rules have been broken) then the video that has committed the “crime” is flagged. Once your video has been flagged you receive a warning. If it happens again (within a 6 month period of time) you’re banned from putting up videos for a period of time (usually 2 weeks). If it happens a third time, your account gets shut down.

At face value, this is a sound idea designed to help contribute to the overall wellbeing of the community. But what happens when a video is flagged that has NOT broken the rules of the community? This is what is known as False Flagging and it happens all the time.

Let me say that again. FALSE FLAGGING is when a video has NOT broken any rules, but still gets flagged; and the owner of the video gets a strike against their account, even though they’ve done nothing wrong. This might happen because some moron doesn’t like your video so they decided to flag it (this happens a lot with religious/political videos that people just don’t agree with). Or, maybe it’s your competition and they’re going around flagging all of the videos that compete with their video. Or maybe someone falsely accuses you of copyright infringement under what’s known as the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) like this douche-bag did: , or maybe you just caught someone on a bad day and your video was flagged just for the sake of being flagged. Whatever the reason, the FACT is that you did nothing wrong, but your video got flagged and now your account has a strike against it.

And guess what…there’s pretty much NOTHING you can do about it!

Now, you may not think this is such a big deal, but for people like me who have spent YEARS building a channel that has literally hundreds of videos, hundreds of subscribers, thousands of friends, and tens of thousands of views…it represents YEARS of effort being wiped away with the push of a button.

But I’m not the only one: (check out the discussions on the right hand side)

My problem with the whole false flagging thing is not only with the idiots who go around false flagging people’s videos – although they DO deserve blame, the fact of the matter is that jerks will be jerks and there are WAY too many of them to catch – my problem is also with YouTube for not providing a way to allow legitimate rebuttals/appeals of false flagging AND with not penalizing individuals who are caught false flagging so as to dissuade them from doing it anymore.

(Q.) “But Devon, can’t you just contact YouTube and ask them why the video was flagged?”
(A.) Nope…I mean, you can try…but they will NOT talk to you. Don’t believe me? Go ahead, give them a ring and see if you get through. Here’s YouTube’s phone number:
1-650-253-0000 (remember, they’re owned by Google so that’s how they’ll answer the phone)

(Q.) “So you’re telling me that I can’t appeal the flagging?”
(A.) Go ahead, give it a shot submit an appeal after they’ve flagged you and see if you get a response

(Q.) “What about emailing customer support and explaining to them that your video is clearly NOT in conflict with their community guidelines?”
(A.) Go ahead e-mail them and see what kind of response you get

(A.) And while you’re at it you can go here and ask them about it on their forum

(A.) And then you can go here and try to submit a support ticket
After you’ve exhausted yourself trying to figure out why YouTube refuses to help the very people who make their site what it is; you may then ask yourself… “but what about the really elite people who have been on YouTube for years and have a bazillion views, friends, and subscribers”?

Well, there’s no course of action for them either….

How do I know? Simple, because I’m one of them. And while I don’t have a “bazillion” videos views; my 200+ videos, 700+ subscribers, 1,400+ friends, and 100,000+ video views are good enough to make my channel amongst the top 20% of YouTube channels and good enough for YouTube to give me “partner” status (which allows me to upload videos longer than 15 minutes and place advertisements on my videos if I want to)

And over the past 2 months my channel ( ) has received 2 different flags. One more, and all of the work I’ve put into my channel since 2009 gets wiped out!

Why have my videos been flagged? I don’t know…no one will tell me. Here’s how my conversation went when I called YouTube to discuss the matter

Me: Hi, my name is Devon Brown and I need to talk with someone in your YouTube department regarding my video being falsely flagged

YT Chick: Sir, there’s no one here that you can talk to, but I can direct you to the website that shows our community guidelines

Me: Look lady, I’ve already been to your site and that’s the problem, its NO HELP. Can someone PLEASE just talk to me about why videos that I put up over a year ago are now magically getting in trouble?

YT Chick: Sir, there’s no one here that you can talk to, but I can direct you to the website that shows our community guidelines

Me: Woman, are you on drugs? You’re not listening to me. Screw your website and let me talk to a human being!!

YT Chick: Sir, there’s no one here that you can talk to, but I can direct you to the website that shows our community guidelines

I think you get the idea…

(Q.) “But Devon, you’re one of their “top tier members/partners”… It’s people like you and channels like yours that help get YouTube all of their traffic. Why would they spit in your face like that and not even allow you a means of even ASKING what you could do to fix your videos”

(A.) Heck if I know. But I do know enough about business to know Pareto’s Principle (a.k.a. the 80/20 rule which states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes).
In YouTube’s case, this means that about 20% of the channels (those who have achieved “partner” status) probably account for 80% of their video views; so it’s probably an especially good idea to not mistreat those individuals

(Q.) But Devon, I checked out your YouTube channel and you’re clearly in the “Home Business” industry. Isn’t that industry is bad and full of scammers?

(A.) LOL, did you just paint an entire industry with one broad brush stroke and lump everyone together? That’s like saying “Aren’t all videos put up by liberals simply designed to help the government takeover and destroy capitalism?” Or, “Aren’t all videos by conservatives just designed to crap on Non-Christians and poor people?” Besides, the question is not “Do you like my industry and/or agree with my point of view?” the question is “Does the video meet the community guidelines?” If the answer to the 2nd question is YES, then there is no need for the video to be flagged.

(Q.) But Devon, wouldn’t it just make more sense for YouTube to tell you WHAT they didn’t like about your video so that you could fix it and make sure that you don’t break the rule again?

(A.) Makes sense to me. But why they don’t operate like that is a mystery to pretty much everyone out there who has been false flagged.

My suggestion is simply this: If for some reason a video is flagged (and a strike placed against the video owner’s account) then YouTube should provide it’s users a legitimate way to dispute the malicious false flagging, AND/OR explain to the video owner WHY they were flagged so that they know not to do it again. The funny thing is that if YouTube were to simply say “here’s how to fix it” the VAST majority of us would willingly comply!

But they don’t…

YouTube would rather ignore the problem and hide from their users. As of the time of this writing, I’ve had to make back ups of ALL of my videos and start using to host videos for people to watch when they visit my blog. And while I realize that in the eyes of YouTube/Google; that I’m just a little ant, and that they could care less whether I use their service or not. The fact of the matter is that “little ants” like me are the ones who make up their community; and they owe it to their community of users to at least address an issue when it arises.

What YouTube needs to understand is that when false flagging occurs (and accounts get shut down) it’s not only hurting the owner of the particular video/account that got in trouble, it’s also hurting the thousands of individuals who enjoy watching videos from the person who created that account/channel.

The truth of the matter is that this problem has been going on for years. But it’s one of those problems that no one really pays attention to until it happens to them.

So, what can we do about it?

Well, you can start by going to the YouTube forum and suggesting that they fix the false flagging problem . You can also “Like” this facebook fan-page and keep an eye out for false flagging updates:

Next, if you know anyone from YouTube then email/call them and ask them what the deal is regarding their false flagging policy. You can also use the contact information shown earlier in this article to try to contact YouTube and suggest they offer a way for legitimate channel owners to appeal false flags. Lastly, you can take this article (as long as you do NOT edit it and you leave my name/bio/information in tact) and feel free to repost it all over the internet.

A former YouTube insider told me that while he was working for YouTube, he was trained to NOT help any users who had a problem. So, needless to say, the only way YouTube will pay attention is if enough of us start to make some noise about it.

Hopefully my little article sheds some light on the situation. The sad part is that Google/YouTube have MORE than enough money to hire the small group of people it would take to oversee this problem…and if they are short on funds, I’ll show them a few ideas on how that can make their site a little more profitable so that that can have the enough money to start treating their users with a little bit of respect; as opposed to completely ignoring us and spitting in our faces.

By: Devon Brown

=====================END ARTICLE=========================

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About Devon Brown

From over $40,000 in debt (and bankrupt at age 23, to now doing over $1-Milion in sales per year, Devon Brown (creator of enjoys teaching internet home business entrepreneurs the short-cuts he wishes he knew about when he first started. For free video advice that makes learning internet marketing FUN & SIMPLE, be sure to follow Devon on Facebook

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  1. 11:59 am on May 13, 2011

    That’s why I tell people not to use YouTube to host business videos. Get an Amazon s3 account and stay in control!

  2. 12:27 pm on May 13, 2011

    Dude…this is an awesome idea, but good luck fighting big bad GOOGLE.

    Instead, just switch to an Amazon S3 account. I know some people are able to use Youtube for business, but I tell my clients that youtube is for hobby’s and S3 is for businesses.

    Talk soon dude!


    • 12:48 pm on May 13, 2011


      I do have an Amazon s3 account. And I use it all the time. But I still
      also use my YouTube account (which has hundreds of friends/subscribers
      and tens of thousands of views). I’ve been building my YouTube account
      over the course of the past 3 years and A LOT of work has gone into it.

      The point is that they should not be allowed to take videos down due to
      False Flagging and have no type of rebuttal option available.

  3. Devon~

    DUDE! I can’t believe this. Actually, just the other week, my brother (programmer in ATL.) was just talking about how YouTube is really annoying. One thing that I’d like to point out is their privacy settings; they only allow three options: your video is either completely “public”, “unlisted” or “private”.

    The problem is that the “unlisted” is so freaking confusing that it almost forces you to broadcast publicly. Do you email the link to someone, do they have to have a YouTube Channel, etc.? The point I’m making is that you’d think a super-mega company like YouTube would make it a little easier to understand this. BUT NO THEY DON’T.

    On a secondary note, I joined your Facebook Fanpage “YouTube False Flagging Sucks”, I tweeted “Dear @YouTube …Why Do You Continue To Refuse To Address The False Flagging Problem” from my Twitter (@orthodoxdaily 700 followers), and I also left a comment on the YouTube Suggestions Page.

    Cheers Devon!

  4. 12:34 pm on May 13, 2011


  5. 12:47 pm on May 13, 2011

    Ummm, they are a publicly traded company.

    You might want to pursue that kind of recourse…

    i.e. what happens if they “false flag” a shareholder?

    Hmmm, something to plan a PR campaign about, eh?


  6. You got it. Step # 2 done.

  7. 1:30 pm on May 13, 2011

    hi devon:

    sorry to hear your ordeal! that is so totally google and sucks sooo much!

    i give you my full support to spread the word and see if the power of the masses can move the google giant a tiny bit towards justice!

    keep up your good work,
    kind regards,

  8. I am sorry Devon , your videos and training is all good and i will support you by sending a email to you tube, your friend Henry Losiewicz

  9. 1:41 pm on May 13, 2011

    Hi Devon
    This false flagging issue is rediculous. I’m doing everything i can to help and i hope you can keep your you tube channel up. I clicked “like” on the facebook page you set-up and reposted some things on my twitter account, I tried posting in the You Tube forum suggestions and i kept getting this message “your details are too long, you have a limit of 8192 characters” (there’s no way i used that many characters though, even when i made my post shorter it said the same thing) so i sent it in an email to them.

  10. Step 1 and 3 done, tweeted the message. Really anoying, hope they will take notice . Good Luck Devon!
    friendly greetings,

  11. 2:29 pm on May 13, 2011

    Devon, Sorry this has happened–when I next talk with my mentor I plan on asking about false flagging. and mention this to some other people. Possible catch 22? mary

  12. 3:38 pm on May 13, 2011

    Hi Devon,
    I hate it when this stuff happens, I just posted my two cents worth

    Hope it helps to attract the attention of someone in YT with half a brain, I wish you luck, if you are having problems god help the rest of us!

    • 4:30 pm on May 13, 2011

      Great post on the YT forum Barrie – Your points are solid! Thanks man!

  13. 4:11 pm on May 13, 2011

    If you’ve never been falsely accused, it’s a sick feeling. To not be able to redress it could prove fatal. If we don’t stand together on this we all might fall prey to it!
    I did my part by taking the time to respond as directed. Hope others will.

  14. 4:37 pm on May 13, 2011

    Can’t believe my eyes.

  15. Sorry to hear about your grief Devon, but unfortunately I’m not surprised. Kinda funny when we hit the “conspiracy” wall firsthand and realize that companies and governments are NOT out to serve our best interests (really???!)

    I was told of this problem years ago by Mike Stewart; then set up an S3 account for all videos I deem “essential.” I still use YouTube, but only for promotional or charity purposes. For daily use, Viddler actually features better quality videos, with much less hassles.

  16. BTW, I’ll do what I can to put a fire under the TubeMonster…

  17. Devon: Your “false flagging” event appears to be a big Google slap at an innocent business
    owner who may be a Google enemy. Google has been doing some stupid stuff to a lot of
    web businesses lately. These business owners have no recourse at all. Hang in as long as
    you can and try to sink YouTube’s boat. I wont miss them at all.


  18. Yes…Google Sucks! I’ve had my own music composition flagged by Google as an ‘infringement’. Naughty me..Posting my own music! Done the above requests. I’ll send the word out to my Facebook followers & post your article on my blog. It’s about time we gave Google a kick in the butt!

  19. 6:53 pm on May 13, 2011

    You Tube and Google should be reminded of the Chinese who banned (flagged) them. From their airways before The US intervene

  20. 11:36 pm on May 13, 2011

    Devon, this is shame but it is like someone already said when a company get to big for its pants it can get “I don’t care” attuide. And also I agree with the person who says if they do it to you my goodness what would are they going to do with us “little” people. But I do know how you feel they cancel my adsense account with no reason, no explaintion at all.

    I say if they keep doing honest people who run an honest business that giant must fall. Because what goes around comes around. I will post a not nice words also. They are just like when someone wants to promote the same product or they just get plain envious of your sucess they do evil thing to try to stop you and send our false things about a person. If enough of us complain and say we are going to pull the plug on our products they will stand up and take notice. Nothing like the voice of the people!!

  21. 3:08 am on May 14, 2011

    Hi Devon

    Am with you all the way, have Tweeted, Facebooked and Blogged, hope it helps.

    Best of luck


  22. 4:52 am on May 14, 2011

    Hi Devon, I feel your frustration, have experienced myself, i hate that your personal power and voice is taken away, its wrong, but the mighty do fall (eventually) i will do my bit 🙂

  23. Hi Devon,

    Sorry to hear about your grief with YouTube, I’ll post your article on my own blog shortly as requested,

    I myself don’t have a YouTube account as I don’t have the equipment to make live videos, I haven’t invested in any because “I have an ideal face for radio” 🙂

    It appears to me that most all big companies especially the ones online are only interested in making as much money as possible any way they can so employing a decent customer service team to handle customer’s complaints or issues to them just seems a waste of their profits because as they are the ones in total control, they just don’t give a stuff.

    And it appears Google are The worst offenders (But only just!) and because they are so big and powerful online, I can only see these issues becoming more prevalent as they gobble up more and more companies in search of world dominance (I expect the next one they’ll make a move on will be Twitter, and then FaceBook shortly after)

    So moving over to alternative companies that provide the same services just as good or better (not difficult) is likely to be only a temporary measure until they get swallowed up as well.

    I hope all our efforts will make a difference (but I’m not holding my breath)


    • 7:05 am on May 16, 2011

      Thank you for your support David… I love how you phrased this: “I can only see these issues becoming more prevalent as they gobble up more and more companies in search of world dominance”. Hopefully we can make a difference by letting our voices be heard but the Mega Giant is going to do whatever it wants to do.

  24. 10:00 am on May 14, 2011

    WOW this is really an eye opener Devon and so sorry to hear YouTube gave you the major slap. It just doesn’t seem right and I agree with everyone else, how can such a large company not respond to individuals that are supporting them?

    What concerns me the most is what you said about how YouTube or Google employees are training not to respond to us. Sure makes you want to go out and start your own ‘Video Tube’!! and forget YouTube

    I’m tweeting, liking and doing what I can for you Devon.

  25. 10:31 am on May 14, 2011

    Well, this smacks of massive business opportunity for anyone with the inclination to take it on.

    I hadn’t heard about false flagging before, but it is a potential big problem for almost anyone.

    An ideal time for someone to set up a serious alternative to You Tube, perhaps starting quietly and building a serious credible user base before going for the big one, or with funding in place and a plan sorted just launch a new site with massive exposure and kill off YouTube in one fell swoop.

    Google and YouTube are in a kind of very vulnerable position in my opinion. I fully expect Google to be irrelevant within the next few years … unless of course they have a massive change of ethos. They are arrogant and cocksure, ripe for being overtaken (not taken over) by some savvy individuals – in the same way that Google initially came on the scene.

    As anyone who has ever tried to get any sense out of Google/YouTube will know, they don’t understand the meaning of customer service or communication, it is all one way from the self-proclaimed gods.

    It appears from what you’ve said Devon, that YouTube don’t give a monkey’s for anyone seeking to gain some kind of review when flagged, or even to reprimand those false flagging. In that case, anyone could start a viral false flagging of sites on YouTube, drown the whole of YouTube in false flags and there won’t be any material left for YouTube to show, because they’ll have closed all accounts 🙂

    Either they wake up and do something, or they become a worthless has-been and I know which I’d rather see!

  26. 12:58 pm on May 14, 2011

    I’ve Never Had My You-Tube Account Flagged But I Feel For You!. I Had a Similar Situation Using Craigslist Some One Who Had an AD Similar to Mine And Kept Flagging Mine.Thats The Problem With “Community Flagging” A Way To Solve It is To Not Make The Process So Easy For The Community.Make Them Fill Out a Short Form and Instead Of Making It an Automatic Flag The Short Form is Reviewed By Admin along With The Actual Video in Question.Anyway Sorry To Hear It Happened To You Devon I Hope You Get it Straightened Out(Not Just Your Case But The System).I Will Do My Part And Send My E-Mail to You-Tube Best Of Luck Drew H.

  27. Hi Devon. Hope you are having a good weekend.

    This sucks big time! I am also subscribed to a guys list in the fitness industry and he too has had issues with Youtube. So I think it is a problem that needs to be addressed. It is pretty ‘dumb’ though for such a corporation/company to do that and not even bother to give you a reason for their actions!

    Anyways I will do my bit and help you out. Hopefully when we all do something, it will be addressed (the issue).

    I wish you the best
    Saqib Khan

    • 5:54 pm on May 16, 2011

      Thanks Saqib! You have been a follower for a long time and I really appreciate your comments! Thanks again!

  28. 8:41 pm on May 14, 2011

    Hi Devon,

    False flagging is like being and getting fired. There goes the pay check. Too bad it takes so long for justice to prevail. If you were flagged because you were so successful take the advice of otherson Amazon and make a $ milliion

    You did not get were you are by letting a minor obstruction hinder. Time for the end run.
    They can’t stop the ‘RENEGADE.


  29. 7:27 am on May 15, 2011

    Feel terrible for you man but I do agree with everything you’ve just said, most especially the title that Youtube does suck. I mean come on, I still need to make use of other sites like Youtube Mirror to be able to view a video that was blocked in my country? I mean come on! I thought the Internet’s where there’s real freedom of information, why all this drama then? If only Youtube people can hear our thoughts.. Hope this clears up for you too man!


  30. 9:59 am on May 15, 2011

    Have sent emails to all 4 addresses listed and many of them in different wording, why don’t we swamp them with emails

  31. 10:58 am on May 15, 2011

    Thanks for this Devon ,Ill be sending them a message.

  32. Hey Devon,

    I’m sorry to hear about your plight with Google. I love that your are being proactive in your attempt to rectify the situation. I’m curious to see how it all turns out. I had a similar problem with adsense to no avail.

    I hope you have much better luck.

  33. Hey Devon, my response to your Youtube issue is to just move all your stuff over to Viddler. If we all do that, as I am, then YT may get the message. I would not be going back to YT because I would not want more of the same nonsense. Let us know how it all goes. lol !

  34. I think what your doing is the right thing, discussing, sharing, making others aware of the issue and showing you are being reasonable yet wanting an explanation. I wonder if they would pay attention to a petition? I believe something good will happen from this.

  35. 4:26 am on May 22, 2011

    Hi Devon,

    I really feel for you mate & hope you get to the bottom of this issue! This reminds me of stories of people getting there Google Adsense accounts disabled for no apparent reason & being left frustrated without explanation or option to remedy the problem. I have spread your post around & wish you all the best with getting this issue resolved : )

  36. Devon! This happened to me a few weeks ago. I log into my account and lo and behold, I see this big red warning about how my video was flagged for spam. Get this. It had a whopping 98 views (LOL) and 2 comments that were supposedly spammy.

    What really made me mad though was they somehow managed to shutdown that website advertised in the video,too. I feel your pain because I was there not too long ago.

    I will be moving my efforts to viddler and looking at amazon, too.

    I’ll do my part to help you.

  37. 10:57 am on June 14, 2011

    Hi Devon, I feel really sorry that you have had your channel suspended all that work up in the air for no reason, YouTube/Google should be made accountable for their decisions.
    These companies would be nowhere without the public and they should remember this, they think they are untouchable but they are not, the mighty do fall, I have seen it happen with many businesses that thought they were out of reach.
    Let’s hope that they do listen to the voice of reason and reassess there decisions on all these accounts that they have suspended or cancelled.
    In the mean time I have went through your options and doing my bit for you.
    Good luck in your campaign.

  38. 12:27 pm on July 24, 2011

    did my bit … who knows, maybe enough of these will help, but to be fair the best way is to take away it’s power by taking fans and content elsewhere.

    Lets face it, how profitable is a site no-one goes to? Google don’t care about opinions … they care about figures and stats. As a united ‘front’ we could surely make a dent big enough to raise some eyebrows?

    Maybe not … but it doesn’t hurt to try. Or perhaps there is an even more clever way to approach this.

    Either way thanks for all you do Devon … you deserve the support you’re receiving here. :o)

    Laters … Matt

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