YouTube has begun a purge of what it calls “hate” and “misinformation” the platform, as well as a push to strip ad revenue (“demonetize”) channels that “brush up” against the platform’s increasingly draconian speech codes. The move follows a pro-censorship campaign led by Vox Media reporter Carlos Maza.
YouTube also pledged to push more “authoritative” content from “trusted” sources to users — mainstream media like NBC and CNN fall into this category.
The channels that have been demonetized include independent journalist Ford Fischer, libertarian anti-globalist news channel Press For Truth, SJW critic Sinatra_Says, and conservative comedian Steven Crowder.
The latest purge followed a relentless pro-censorship campaign led by far-left Vox Media reporter Carlos Maza, who objected to content produced by Steven Crowder. YouTube has now targeted not just Crowder, but a range of independent video creators.
“As an independent news producer, I don’t have any salary whatsoever. I live in DC and travel the country covering activism because I think it’s important — especially in this political moment — to have raw documentation of everything that goes on” said Ford Fischer, a former production assistant at Fox News. “Good, bad, or ugly, we as press have an obligation to film it as impartially as we can.”
“It’s true that the mainstream media covers many of the same issues that I do, and they never seem to encounter the same censorship” Fischer continued. “There are numerous examples, but as a simple one I’d note that Vice has embedded with neo-Nazi organizations many, many times. I’ve worked alongside them in doing so, and I’ve licensed [reports] to them about a dozen times for their coverage. Vice will probably never find itself on the chopping block.”
“The demonetization of my work on Youtube effectively cuts my bottom line livelihood in half” said Fischer.
Conservative commentator Hunter Avallone also told Breitbart News that some of his videos were demonetized today.
Left-wing podcast The Drunken Peasants said that one of their videos had been removed, allegedly for mocking a Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist.
This is a video from 4 years ago where we mocked a conspiracy theorist that we called “Kinky Joe” for claiming Sandy Hook was a false flag. Today YouTube decided to first disable comments on it and later remove it. How was it not clear that we were condemning these beliefs? pic.twitter.com/SbcqI0DPSo
— Drunken Peasants (@DrunkenPeasants) June 5, 2019
Alt-right YouTube channels Varg Vikernes and The Great Order have reportedly been banned from the platform, while European identitarian Martin Sellner, American identitarian James Allsup and alt-right channel Red Ice TV have also been demonetized.
Videos from Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnes, and Black Pigeon Speaks have reportedly been deleted.
YouTube explained its reasoning in a blog post:
In 2017, we introduced a tougher stance towards videos with supremacist content, including limiting recommendations and features like comments and the ability to share the video. This step dramatically reduced views to these videos (on average 80%). Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. This would include, for example, videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory. Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.
On promoting “authoritative sources,” YouTube said it would deliberately push mainstream media content to users who are watching so-called “borderline” content (content that YouTube says “brushes up” against its rules against hate speech and misinformation).
We’ll also start raising up more authoritative content in recommendations, building on the changes we made to news last year. For example, if a user is watching a video that comes close to violating our policies, our systems may include more videos from authoritative sources (like top news channels) in the “watch next” panel. [emphasis ours]
Finally, YouTube explained why channels were being demonetized.
Channels that repeatedly brush up against our hate speech policies will be suspended from the YouTube Partner program, meaning they can’t run ads on their channel or use other monetization features like Super Chat.
All of this is, of course, a massive departure from YouTube’s pre-2016 policies, where creators were allowed to create virtually any kind of lawful content and monetize it. Since 2016, YouTube has been under constant pressure from the mainstream media and left-wing activists to censor its platform.
The pressure has paid off. As Breitbart News exclusively reported earlier this year, YouTube has begun deliberately reordering results for “controversial search queries,” in one case pushing pro-life videos out of the top ten search results for “abortion” and “abortions” following a complaint from a left-wing journalist.