Conservatives are fuming and are accusing Google of discriminating against them after the tech giant announced that Youtube is taking ads off offensive content that violates its terms of service.
The move is a devastating blow for conservative YouTube personalities who promote racist content because they will no longer receive payment from YouTube on those videos, and they are fuming.
YouTube says that its efforts are aimed at cracking down on hate speech, but conservative and right-wing video creators say they’re frustrated by the changes
Last month, YouTube quietly made moves to remove advertisements on certain types of content that it says is not consistent with its terms of service, The Hill reports.
YouTube began the initiative after several major companies like Coca-Cola, Amazon and Microsoft pulled their ads from YouTube in the spring after noticing that advertisements for their brands appeared alongside videos of hateful, offensive or even pro-terrorist content.
YouTube says that while it respects principles of free speech, its policies are at aimed at making sure advertisers’ needs are met.
“There’s a difference between the free expression that lives on YouTube and the content that brands have told us they want to advertise against,” a Youtube spokesperson said. “Part of giving advertisers choice means giving them the choice to not run ads on sensitive content.”
The company said that creators who feel that their content was incorrectly classified can file an appeal with Youtube.
But the conservative media is losing its mind over the move.
“YOUTUBE DECLARES WAR ON POLITICALLY INCORRECT OPINIONS,” reads one Infowars headline.
“I think it would be insane to suggest there’s not an active effort to censor conservative and independent views,” Lauren Southern, a conservative internet personality, told the Daily Caller.
Conservative YouTube creator Philip DeFranco claimed that one his videos had been demonetized. YouTube said that DeFranco’s video had been demonetized because he swore and used graphic video footage, according to DeFranco.
“I love YouTube. It’s well within their damn rights to do this. It is their website. It is also incredibly f–king concerning,” said conservative YouTube creator Philip DeFranco, whose video had been demonetized because he used offensive language and graphic video footage. “By taking away monetization, it is a form of censorship.”
As noted by The Hill, YouTube is now caught in a bind as it struggles to crack down on harmful content, without alienating popular video creators and their viewers.
“Advertisers are reconsidering whether they want to be anywhere near user-generated content, let alone the controversial pollution which litters Facebook and YouTube,” says Jason Kint, CEO of the media trade association Digital Content Next. “The trick is making sure they don’t also cut off the productive creators that are the innovators and artists of our media.”