Prominent right wing YouTube users say the site is censoring them.
Trump-supporting accounts like Paul Joseph Watson and Diamond and Silk say the site is stopping them making money from their videos and hiding them from viewers. And some have said that the censorship is so bad they will be leaving YouTube entirely.
The complaints come in the middle of a controversy surrounding the Google memo, which circulated around the YouTube owner and claimed that its diversity agenda was wrong. Many prominent right-wing personalities have taken up the cause of James Damore, who wrote the memo and was subsequently fired.
Forbes’ Highest-Paid YouTubers of 2016
Now Trump supporters claim YouTube is “trying to determine what people can and cannot see and hear by removing debate, diversity and a difference of opinion”. That’s according to Diamond and Silk, the YouTube stars that have given support to – and been prominently supported by – the Trump campaign.
While their videos are still online, they said they had been made “no longer eligible for monetisation”. That means that ads won’t be shown before them – and that as a result the pair will receive no money from Google for making them.
Paul Joseph Watson, a right-wing YouTube personality who works on Alex Jones’s Infowars, said that he was also having monetisation removed from his videos. He claimed that every video he made about Islam had been stopped from making money, as well as others including a criticism of modern art.
He also claimed that he was being removed from YouTube’s recommended lists, as part of YouTube’s attempts to stop hate speech. That meant that fewer and fewer people were watching him and his peer’s videos, he said.
Mr Watson laid out his objections in a video titled “I’m done with YouTube… for now”. He begins the video by saying: “think that headline sounds like clickbait? Well think again”.
He said that he might eventually come back to YouTube, particularly if his complaints were addressed. But for now he would mostly be creating videos off the site, he said.
“Let’s great it straight I’m not flouncing, I’m not taking my ball and going home, I’m not going to start crying on camera. I’ll probably come back at some point, if I’m not banned.”
The YouTube user, who also goes by the handle “PrisonPlanet”, suggested that he had predicted his videos would be hidden more than a week before he left, in a video titled “YouTube to Censor ‘Controversial’ Videos”.
Mr Watson’s complaints about YouTube’s algorithms recall those of PewDiePie, who said in November that he would kill his channel because YouTube was trying to reduce the number of people who saw his videos. The deletion turned out to be a prank, but the complaints seemed real.