In an effort to “tackle hate,” the Google-owned video-sharing service YouTube has announced it will begin to ban videos it considers “hateful” and take other measures against content creators, including the demonetization of content creators that it believes “brush up against” its standards.
And it has the YouTube community in an uproar.
A June 5 blog post from “The YouTube Team” lays out the company's reasoning.
“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 report 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.”
Of course, YouTube — like the entire tech sector — has been signaling that this type of censorship has been coming for some time now. But the current crackdown seems to have been initiated by a complaint from a Vox personality, one Carlos Maza, whose Twitter handle is @gaywonk, and who writes a Vox YouTube series known as Strikethrough. In a May 30 tweet, Maza complained that he was being harrased by conservative comedian and YouTube personality Steven Crowder.
“Since I started working at Vox, Steven Crowder has been making video after video 'debunking' Strikethrough. Every single video has included repeated, overt attacks on my sexual orientation and ethnicity.”
Maza went on to complain and whine that he’s being “targeted” by Crowder and demand Crowder’s removal from the platform for that harassment.
But Maza is no angel himself. In his Twitter bio, he calls himself a “Marxist Pig” and then randomly writes, “[Fox News Host] Tucker Carlson is a white supremacist.” Maza has called for violent action against conservatives in the form of the newest leftist tactic known as “milkshaking.” Maza has also made YouTube videos defending the violent leftist extremist group ANTIFA, claiming that “they’re not causing that much havoc.” Maza then adds that “ANTIFA looks scary but they make up a tiny part of the protests they show up at.”
In old-school parlance, Maza is a person who can dish it out, but he can’t take it.
But apparently, YouTube has taken the Vox "journalist" seriously, launching its new policy only days after the initial complaint. After initially saying that Crowder’s videos did not violate its community standards, YouTube then decided that Crowder can keep his channel but has entirely demonetized it.
“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 channels or use other monetization features,” YouTube explained.
Crowder has taken the demonetization in stride, since the bulk of his revenue comes from other sources. “This really isn’t that big of a ding for us,” Crowder said on his show.
But Crowder is a relatively popular personality with nearly four million subscribers and his own revenue source. YouTube isn’t really hurting him very much with its new policy, but it will hurt the thousands of independent content creators who depend on YouTube’s ad revenue for their living.
Among those creators is center-left personality Tim Pool, who has been a strident defender of free speech on YouTube and other big tech platforms, whether that speech comes from the Left or Right. “I have to wonder what the reason for Carlos Maza’s campaign was,” Pool said on a video from June 5. “In the end, I think what we’re going to end up seeing is Vox is going to get promoted heavily and conservative and independent creators are going to be de-ranked, or just not recommended.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz blasted YouTube’s decision and warned about the consequences in a tweet. “This is ridiculous. YouTube is not the Star Chamber — stop playing God and silencing those voices you disagree with. This will not end well.”
Among those applauding YouTube’s new policy is the scandal-ridden defamation group the Southern Poverty Law Center. But the group will be keeping a close eye on the situation. “As with other outlets before it, YouTube’s decision to remove hateful content depends on its ability to enact and enforce policies and procedures that will prevent this content from becoming a global organizing tool for the radical right,” said the group’s intelligence director Heidi Beirich. Bierich is among several SPLC staffers being sued for RICO violations and abetting theft.
While the whining Maza is a convenient scapegoat for the current situation, this type of censorship is what YouTube and all of big tech has been planning for some time now. Last month, when several big tech companies — including Google, which owns YouTube — met with world leaders at a summit for the Christchurch Call to Action, they signed a pledge to fight “violent extremism” online. For globalists and leftists, the type of extremism they find “violent” comes mainly from the Right.
From its beginning, YouTube has billed itself as an “open platform.” Certainly, as a private company, YouTube and its parent company Google have the right to operate the way they see fit. But if they are going to take advice from groups such as the SPLC and initiate policies that downgrade and discourage any thought that differs from their own left-wing ideology, they should probably stop referring to themselves as an “open platform” and refer to themselves as what they look to become — a far left-wing echo chamber.