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(NaturalNews) Without much fanfare, it appears that Google-owned YouTube has begun censoring and demonetizing video content that is critical of the Obama administration, certain politicians and the federal government generally.
In early September, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on the issue after users of the site began to notice that advertising was being stripped from videos they posted that were critical of government, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and federal agencies like the FBI.
(For the record, as noted by Open Secrets, Clinton is the top recipient of contributions from Alphabet, the company that owns Google.)
With regard to the censoring or demonetizing of videos, YouTube says it is because they violate “advertiser-friendly content guidelines.” But users of the site see another reason: political bias.
‘There was nothing offensive’
One such user is Philip DeFranco, who video blogs (vlogs) about current affairs. In an interview with the Daily Mail, he said that suddenly a dozen of his videos were demonetized, and the decision baffled him because it seemed arbitrary and capricious.
“I appealed a bunch of videos, a lot of them got reinstated but one was denied. I went through the tags there was nothing offensive,” he said.
Luke Rudkowski, creator of the popular We Are Change channel, is also complaining that his videos are getting penalized financially.
“For years,” he told The Anti-Media, “I have monetized and still get f*cked from it.” Especially, he added, “[when I launch a video about] Hillary, or war and foreign policy.”
He added that if his videos only have Hillary in them they are fine, but if he adds something about the FBI or another government agency, they are targeted.
Anti-Media journalist and senior editor, Carey Wedler, has had similar dealings with YouTube. She said that she first realized what YouTube was doing after site editors singled out her videos for “a couple of weeks” after she uploaded a video critical of America’s alleged “culture of militarism” as being a contributing factor to “domestic mass shootings.”
She told her publication that the video was uploaded shortly after the Orlando “shooting” – which was actually an act of terrorism –which took place in June. By July 6, she said, she had received an email from YouTube claiming that her video was not “advertiser-friendly.” A couple of days later, she said she got another email concerning a video she had uploaded in early June, before the video pertaining to the Orlando attack.
“This video, which pointed out inconsistencies in [former Democratic presidential contender and U.S. Sen.] Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt) record and questioned his ‘revolutionary’ status, was also stripped of monetization,” she told The Anti-Media.
Arbitrary and politically motivated?
Wedler said she only received the two emails citing the two videos, but when she dug further, she noted that monetization for all of her videos had been turned off.
Other videos affected by YouTube’s ‘policy’ included one critical of American involvement in Iraq and Syria, and an extremely mocking video of Clinton.
Zero Hedge went on to report that monetization for Wedler’s Orlando video has been restored, but her video regarding Sanders remains ineligible.
Wedler and others acknowledge that YouTube, as a private company, has every right to set its own policies. But as ZH notes, the company’s owner, Google, has shown its favoritism via a massive lobbying effort directed at Congress and the Obama White House, and by skewering search results to favor its own business model.
In this way, Google is much like Facebook, which has actually censored content its editors found politically inconvenient, censorship that is often followed by the blocking or banning of users.
The path forward is clear, and it is this: Independent, non-corporate-owned search engines, social media and news media sites that don’t filter, omit, ban or block freedom of the press and expression.
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