ORLANDO, Fla. – Following a News 6 investigation, YouTube has barred a self-described “urban explorer” from generating advertising revenue on videos that appear to show people trespassing in Central Florida’s theme parks after hours.
Matthew St. Cyr posted a video on his YouTube channel this week showing an unidentified videographer climbing along the tracks of the Expedition Everest roller coaster at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and petting the ride’s animatronic yeti figure.
Another recent video shows two men scaling a fence at Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay water park at night after closing and attempting to go down one of the dry waterslides. They were eventually chased off by workers, the video indicates.
"I make a living out of it," St. Cyr told News 6, who acknowledged profiting off the videos through YouTube ad revenue and donations from his viewers. "I've got to put food on the table somehow."
As part of its reporting on St. Cyr’s videos, News 6 contacted YouTube’s parent company Google to inquire whether his content complied with the company’s policies prohibiting users from earning money off material that is illegal, promotes illegal activity or infringes on the legal rights of others.
A Google spokesperson said the company vigorously enforces its policies governing what kind of videos can include revenue-generating advertisements.
After reviewing St. Cyr’s videos, YouTube demonetized St. Cyr’s channel so it is no longer eligible to run ads.
Patreon, a fundraising website that enables artists and other content creators to accept donations for their work, suspended St. Cyr’s account while it reviews whether his content complies with its rules forbidding users from engaging in illegal conduct.
Representatives with Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando have condemned what they describe as unsafe and illegal behavior shown in St. Cyr's videos and said the companies work with local law enforcement to investigate trespassers.
St. Cyr has been arrested twice on charges that he trespassed at Walt Disney World and at a power plant in Titusville. In both cases he pleaded no contest and was issued several hundred dollars in fines.
The video creator is currently being prosecuted in Tampa for allegedly entering off-limits areas at Busch Gardens theme park. He has pleaded not guilty to those misdemeanor trespassing charges.
Click here to read more about St. Cyr’s controversial videos.