One of the most heavily used social-media platforms in the world has taken it upon themselves to protect their viewers from “questionable” content.
The only problem is that they are also the ones deciding which content is to be censored.
Many consumers who use the site on a daily basis have voiced concerns that YouTube’s owners, management, and employees are all heavily biased.
It seems that the decisions of a very small group of individuals can destroy a company overnight, even if there is no violation of the platform’s “community standards.” Anything that offends the appointed censors in the slightest way can cause the poster’s entire account to be “demonetized.” Conservatives say it’s “demonic.”
After intense prodding from Vox talking head Carlos Maza, YouTube is drastically shifting the way their platform will deal with content creators and producers. The Google subsidiary has publicly stated that these policies are to combat “hate,” however, they are written in a way that gives YouTube the discretion to enforce the policies however they see fit.
This includes “reducing borderline content,” which YouTube defines as content that is within its guidelines but is close to the edge.
Another part of the plan is to promote more videos from “authoritative sources,” meaning left-leaning mainstream news channels like CNN, MSNBC, and Vox.
Carlos Maza makes videos for Vox on a channel with over 6 million subscribers and is famous as the front man for some of their more popular “strikethrough” videos. He gets an average of around 1 million views per video.
Popular conservative comedian Steven Crowder usually debunks these videos on his channel, which angers Maza to the point he turns purple.
Maza recently took to Twitter to complain about Crowder’s videos and complained so much, that on Wednesday, June 5, YouTube made a change in their policies. Not only that, they started enforcing them the same day.
Maza claims Crowder was harassing him but any objective viewer would disagree with that. Crowder is a comedian and his jokes are no different than any of the other late-night hosts you will find on mainstream cable T.V.
Carlos Maza made a series of tweets, some too obscene to share, and ending with Google/YouTube’s total capitulation:
YouTube replied to his ranting with an update:
“Update on our continued review – we 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.”
That wasn’t good enough for Maza, so he tweets back:
“So the [profanity] what. Basically all political content gets “demonetized.” Crowder’s revenue stream isn’t from YouTube ads. It’s from selling merch and “Socialism Is For Fags” shirts to millions of loyal customers, that @YouTube continues to drive to his channel. For free.”
He follows that up with:
“Abusers use it as proof they’re being “discriminated against. Then they make millions off of selling merch, doing speaking gigs, and getting their followers to support them on Patreaon. The ad revenue isn’t the problem. It’s the platform.”
TeamYouTube wrote back:
“To clarify, in order to reinstate monetization on this channel, he will need to remove the link to his T-shirts.”
That wasn’t good enough for Maza either. He replied “Oh my [profanity] god.”
At least his final reply was “G” rated.
I don’t know what to say.
@YouTube has decided not to punish Crowder, after he spent two years harassing me for being gay and Latino.
I don't know what to say. https://t.co/EFvWCNvPms
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) June 4, 2019
In the wake of these new rules, five YouTube channels have already been banned totally, 11 have been demonetized, and 10 have had videos deleted. That was just within the first few hours of the change being implemented. These numbers will drastically increase over the coming days and weeks, as more and more channels fall victim to the new rules.
However, this tragedy has united the YouTube community. Many people who would normally disagree with Crowder have sided with him. They clearly see what Maza and Vox are trying to do to YouTube, and they are not happy about it.