YouTube released a statement on Wednesday stating that they will be demonetizing and deleting videos promoting supremacists, conspiracy theorists, and other ‘harmful’ accounts, while leaving those that have value to researchers and NGOs unaffected.
Though their press release stated that accounts that would be of value to researchers and NGOs would be unaffected, YouTube chose another route.
News2Share is an online media outlet based in Washington D.C. that has covered topics of police brutality, police misconduct, protests, politics (left, right, and third party), and more while giving very limited commentary leaving the viewers to make up their mind.
Ford Fischer, who is editor and co-founder of News2Share, went to Facebook within minutes after YouTube announced that they will be “tackling hate” stating YouTube included News2Share YouTube channel in the content purge.
“Our team of policy specialists carefully looked over the videos you’ve uploaded to your channel News2Share. We found that a significant portion of your channel is not in line with our YouTube Partner Program policies,” YouTube wrote in the message.
The key problem with that is, News2Share gives just enough commentary on what is recorded to let viewers know what is being recorded. What is rare about News2Share is that they do not push an agenda, which had lead to their recordings being used in multiple documentaries and movies that have won awards. Videos from News2Share has also been featured on CNN, Fox, PBS, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, BBC, and more.
America’s Police Problem has shared and used many of the videos produced by News2Share countless times and decided to reach out to after hearing that they were demonetized.
“Journalists and researchers covering a situation doesn’t mean endorsing what they see. Just like filming the police doesn’t make someone a cop, filming antifa doesn’t make someone antifa and filming the far-right doesn’t make someone far-right. Youtube [is] not only isn’t helping the problem, but they are removing the very resources used to research the people they proclaim to want to fight.”
Fischer took to Twitter to describe his thoughts on the decision YouTube made.
With demonetizing those that have value to researchers and NGOs, it makes it difficult to encourage content creators and removes an incentive to risk their safety to record history in the making.
YouTube also included in their press release that they will also start raising authoritative content.
According to the press release from YouTube:
“Our systems are also getting smarter about what types of videos should get this treatment, and we’ll be able to apply it to even more borderline videos moving forward. As we do this, we’ll also start raising up more authoritative content in recommendations, building on the changes we made to news last year.”
With YouTube and other major platforms connections to the government, who is to say what is authoritative and what is not? The new policy YouTube has is designed to be a double edge sword, in its current state. Not only will it remove and silence extremism but it is going to remove and silence those that make research possible.
Situations like these are what make new platforms popular. Which is leading a majority of independent outlets to Minds. Minds content policy is straight forward and the platform is not bought out by government or major corporations.