YouTube has enacted a new policy or two lately. Don’t worry, though: you’ll still be able to watch cute cat videos and Game of Thrones theory videos as much as you like. Rather, their new policies are going to have greater impact on creators of content–and these changes have raised a lot of eyebrows.
“Restricted Mode” Filters Political Views
Their first new policy is one of blocking videos through a new restricted mode. This mode is automatically active, unless you log into YouTube and hit the right buttons to turn it off.
Restricted mode blocks “mature” or controversial content, including conservative channels like Louder with Crowder. Crowder, a comedian and commentator, is guilty only of being white, male, straight, and unashamed of these things.
I tried restricted mode while accessing certain YouTube channels. Blaire White, a transgender critic of the Left, has only 7 videos showing in restricted mode. Louder With Crowder has only 2. By contrast, the Young Turks, which are known for leftism and considerable profanity complements of Cenk Uygur, are not blocked. Could it be they’re targeting Crowder?
To be fair, YouTube is not blocking right-wing creators only. They have also blocked some videos by LGBTQ creators, supposedly under the auspices of inappropriateness. While I’m not against keeping such content away from children, doing so without explanation is bad business policy to say the least.
The “PC Police” Prompt Demonetization
As if blocking videos without giving a significant explanation weren’t enough, YouTube has begun to demonetize various videos. This particular issue has a cause other than YouTube itself.
In the last couple of months, advertisers have begun to pull their ads from a number of websites, stating that they don’t want to be associated with what they perceive to be extremist views. Some 60 advertisers have dropped Bill O’Reilly, others have dropped Breibart News. YouTube is seeing the same thing.
The pulling of advertising is not something we can be too against. Companies are free to patronize or not patronize whatever companies they like. If they feel that having their brand advertised on Breitbart is a bad idea, we can hardly blame them.
The blame for this loss of advertiser revenue does not come from the companies themselves, however. It comes from the Left.
You see, the Left has realized that it can’t bully everyone with screaming and false accusations. They couldn’t bully the Boy Scouts with lawsuits, so they went after the Boy Scouts’ corporate funding. By painting their backers are supporters of bigotry, they eventually got the Boy Scouts to give in. They tried something similar in 2009 with Glenn Beck.
The Left goes after the corporations who pay for advertising on various websites. Those companies, fearful of bad press and boycotts, give in.
Now the case with YouTube is less clear than this, but it appears to be similar. Advertisers have threatened to leave YouTube if Google, which owns YouTube, doesn’t give them what they want.
Why We Should Worry
A young conservative woman content creator, calling herself Roaming Millennial, argues that the reason creators are worried about these policies is that, “We really don’t trust YouTube to make objective decisions and what is and what is not extreme.”
They are right to not trust YouTube. The company, owned by decidedly left-learning Google, cannot be trusted to look out for politically incorrect creators.
It’s true that YouTube is not the government. It is not bound to protect the First Amendment. But this is bad business, and frankly, they’re going back on their own business model.
YouTube grew because everyone knew you could post a video about anything from cute cats, to neck goiter, and even to anti-Christian propaganda. No matter what you posted, YouTube would host it. The company didn’t remove much content except in the most extreme cases.
Now that’s changed, and YouTube will feel the bite in time.
Twitter is on the way out, so is YouTube also in decline? If it is, look forward to better platforms, ones which will be more willing to allow creators to do their work without running afoul of political nonsense.