No. 12: YouTube’s Right-Wing Censorship

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BitChute Homepage; Source: Buzzfeed

This past year, YouTube has become increasingly committed to removing harmful content from their platform. Right-wing channels are accusing the site of targeting their content. David Seaman, a right-wing YouTuber, became popular with his conspiracy videos covering topics like the Parkland shooting and the democratic party. His videos racked up impressive amounts of views totaling about 11 million, according to Buzzfeed.

Seaman is now saying he is being censored by YouTube and his channel has been removed. He has since moved his content to BitChute. BitChute is a popular choice with these YouTubers who feel their content is being unfairly censored. Other similar sites are beginning to pop up with similar video hosting and streaming services. They are all attempting to capture this community who no longer feels like they have a home on YouTube.

An issue these YouTubers expressed is that they don’t feel like YouTube is being transparent with them about their content expectations. Lauren Southern who has about 500,000 subscribers and posts about anti-immigration, said, “At least explain to us how this works so we know what we’re doing wrong — and they don’t. They don’t explain.” (Buzzfeed)

 It will be interesting in the future to see how communities that are affected by social media platform’s new regulations will respond. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have all been reported to focusing more attention on removing content, which by default is impacting more and more content. This will also likely open a dialogue about what is the line of how these sites deem what is “harmful” content.
Additionally, into the future, it will be interesting to watch whether these response sites are able to gain mainstream traction. It likely will be difficult for them to capture the same numbers they previously hosted on more popular sites.
This trend is not exclusive to right-wing content. YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook accounts spanning topics are seeing their videos, tweets, etc. deleted.