Another major Youtube algorithm change is resulting in mass account terminations, video flagging and further demonetization of popular political Youtube channels. And yes, you guessed it, they are almost all on the political right.
This purge is rolling out now just one year after the ‘adpocolypse” censorial wave hit where Youtube began mass demonetization of primarily conservative political sites — from alt right sites to Louder With Crowder, who uses edgy political humor from the traditional right, all the way to mainstream conservative sites such as PragerU.
The demonetization and flagging of dozens of popular conservative sites has been continuing apace throughout the year since the adpocolypse. (Two Youtube terms to know: “Demonetizing” simply means the video that shows no ads, and therefor makes no money for the creator. “Flagged” means the videos are posted, but they are not shown anywhere unless you actually go directly to the channel’s site, meaning the number of views plummets.)
The latest round of Youtube’s ongoing purge is on top of that, and going to the level of terminating accounts. Youtube has begun completely eliminating and banning entire accounts, particularly of alt right content creators. But they’ve also included some less alt right channels such as InfoWars contributors, Mike Cernovich and others who got strikes or were terminated.
The alt right is seriously problematic in many ways for actual conservatives, but they are no worse than the inordinate amount of rot found on Youtube from the anarchists, communists and other extreme leftists who rarely get demonetized or flagged. For instance, one search finds plenty of channels supporting Louis Farrakhan, who is an unapologetic anti-Semite and “white devil” hater. He’s wildly worse than anything found on InfoWars, but there he is, all over Youtube. It’s not hard to predict that this purge of accounts will not stop with the alt right. It will move further into mainstream conservative channels.
What’s worth remembering is that whether it is the alt right or conservative channels, they are opinionating on the same issues as the Youtube-supported Young Turks and CNN. They are just on different sides of the issues. Yet Youtube “moderators” only ever find offense with one side. That is straightforward censorship, and it is only going to continue.
Youtube claimed some of the removed videos were done by mistake based on their rapidly increasing force of “moderators.” Moderators — which I’m sure George Orwell would term something like Right Think Enforcers — are the non-algorithmic part of Youtube’s censorial arm that flags videos. Among their moderators is the wildly leftist Southern Poverty Law Center, an anti-Christian organization that was used by a leftist to attempt a mass shooting at the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington in 2012. So again, expect this purge and level of censorship to continue and increase.
Consider PragerU has charged that Youtube uses its moderator system as a “political gag” — which is self-evidently true. But it becomes undeniable when you look at this very mild, mainstream conservative channel that provides data-driven commentary from an impressive array of leaders.
“Watch any one of our videos and you’ll immediately realize that Google/YouTube censorship is entirely ideologically driven. For the record, our videos are presented by some of the finest minds in the Western world, including four Pulitzer Prize winners, former prime ministers, and professors from the most prestigious universities in America,” stated PragerU founder Dennis Prager. Topics flagged or demonetized have included: “Why America Must Lead,” “The Ten Commandments: Do Not Murder,” “Why Did America Fight the Korean War,” and “The World’s Most Persecuted Minority: Christians.”
You see the problem. But Youtube is only getting started, as the most recent purge wave that goes beyond demonetizing and flagging prove.
The people running Youtube have the strong tendency toward authoritarianist views, intolerance of those who disagree, discriminatory actions and censorship of traditional American Judeo-Christian views. In other words, modern American Progressives. This is why the company fired James Damore for voicing a different opinion. They’re Progressives. This is why they are being sued by Arne Wilberg, a nine-year veteran of the company who claims that Youtube is purging white candidates because they are only seeking to hire minorities — which is a violation of discrimination laws and for which he was fire. But again, they are modern Progressives.
There are a couple of options for conservatives here. Google-owned Youtube is a private company and so government has no role in its content. (Discriminatory hiring is a different issue.) However, the exception to the rule is a monopoly, such as a utility, where government does have a role in protecting consumers from gouging. Labeling Youtube a monopoly could technically work, but then we’d have the government overseeing speech content on the dominant video platform in the country. That is sort of a frying pan to fire issue.
The other option is creation of an alternative video platform. This may be better than government oversight of Youtube. But it would mean the furthering of the red-blue divide in the country.
The best option would be for Youtube leadership to see their error and back off their censorship. But, in case I had not mentioned it, they are Progressives. Snowballs in South Florida are more likely.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
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