Alternative media is a growing concern for the mainstream media. Alternative sources and voices compete openly with legacy media outlets like CNN and MSNBC. These individuals each have audiences that are big enough to rival or exceed the viewership of mainstream sources. One of the most popular platforms for new and alternative voices is YouTube, which has become the premiere video platform in recent years.

Unfortunately, YouTube is becoming a serious threat for progressive journalists. And YouTube, sadly, has been more than happy to respond to that threat.

Increasing Competition

There are several reasons why alternative media sources are growing so fast. The barriers for entry are low: with a very basic setup, new voices can compete with little more than home studios, a laptop, microphone, and camera. Anyone with a little know-how and something (or even nothing) to say can start commenting on current events online.

Many commentators have even gained a real following. Black Pigeon Speaks has some 490 thousand YouTube subscribers. Paul Joseph Watson has 1.7 million, Ben Shapiro has some 750 thousand, and Lauren Southern has 720 thousand. Any one of these easily outpaces television networks like CNN–which, as of the middle of April, boasted just 510 thousand viewers.

Those numbers are astonishing. But for mainstream media (MSM) journalists, many of whom are wholly of the Left, those numbers are a dire threat.

Crowder v. Maza

YouTube, happy to help the MSM keep the narrative, cracked down on online media personalities. Then they did it again. They previously banned Alex Jones, the infamous purveyor of Info Wars, and placed Prager University videos in a limited state. Now, they’ve come for Stephen Crowder.

Stephen Crowder is a right-wing comic and commentator. He’s known for doing things like infiltrating Antifa meetings, crashing feminist conferences in his underwear, and trying to get reasonable arguments out of progressives. He’s a bit odd.

In the last week, Crowder faced complaints raised by one Carlos Maza. Maza is an openly gay video producer for Vox, and complained that YouTube was furthering hate by not barring Crowder’s work. Crowder has, in the course of criticizing Vox generally, joked about Maza and referenced Maza’s homosexuality and ethnicity. Crowder has called him “a lispy queer,” “Mr. Gay Vox,” and “Mr. Gay Latino from Vox,” among other things.

These are meant to be funny. At what point did someone’s sexuality stop being a source of humor? When they come out of the closet? When did being Latino cease to be a cause for humor? Further, Maza himself uses several of these terms to refer to himself in his own content.

The Return of the “Adpocalypse”

Maza continued to complain about Crowder’s hateful treatment of him–and Youtube’s initial response–over several days’ worth of tweets:

On Wednesday, YouTube initially stated that it would not take any action. In a separate statement, YouTube representatives originally said: “In videos flagged to YouTube, Crowder has not instructed his viewers to harass Maza on YouTube or any other platform and the main point of these videos was not to harass or threaten, but rather to respond to the opinion.”

But later on, YouTube changed course. “[W]e have suspended this channel’s monetization. We came to this decision because a pattern of egregious actions has harmed the broader community and is against our YouTube Partner Program policies.” It’s been supposed that YouTube reversed itself in order to appease Vox and the Left at large.

Why YouTube Exists

A few days later, Maza again tweeted:

Apparently, Mr. Maza seems to have misunderstood YouTube’s purpose. YouTube exists to allow anyone post videos, so long as they aren’t criminal, inciting to violence, seditious, libelous, or pornographic. Within broad boundaries, anything goes. This might even including making fun of someone’s sexuality, even if they are gay.

Furthermore, YouTube is not supposed to be censoring things it, or journalists, find distasteful. It should not be in the business of enforcing anyone’s morality. That moralistic censorship will eventually hurt things they like along with those they don’t.

Can YouTube Survive?

As for YouTube, this is just the latest in a series of steps which may result in the platform’s destruction. It may end the era of YouTube as an open venue for entertainment, debate and commentary.

Is it a bit melodramatic to see this as a “first they came for…” situation? I sincerely hope so, because everyone will lose in a censorship war. Some already are: along with Crowder and other channels deemed to be hateful, YouTube has begun deleting historical and educational videos.

I hope I’ve titled this article in complete error. But I see no sign that this will be the case. Eventually, the Left will eat its own while dining on the rest of us.

De-personing, de-platforming, de-monetizing, banning, limiting account states, and more. These are the latest tools used to destroy opinions which are not progressive. There may be be hope on Gab, or Minds, or some other site no one has yet heard of. But YouTube is cutting off its right hand to please the Left. If there’s no change in YouTube’s course, it will end with YouTube being dismembered.