In the latest attack on free speech, YouTube had demonetized a video disseminated by former Rolling Stone and current Substack journalist Matt Taibbi. YouTube has previously shown open political bias in its censorship and demonetization policies. However, this is remarkably blatant in demonetizing a video that showed how Democrats previously claimed elections of Republicans were stolen — contradicting the narrative maintained in the media and on social media.
Taibbi sent out an email to his subscribers that revealed YouTube’s decision to demonetize:
Today we’re releasing a video Matt Orfalea has been working on, showing years of audio and video clips, tweets, and headlines in which Democratic Party politicians and media figures describe Donald Trump’s presidency as illegitimate. Before it was even published on this site, Matt received the above notice.
I’d like to thank YouTube for making our point. The material in this video does not promote the idea that any election was stolen or illegitimate. On the contrary, it shows a great mass of comments from Democratic partisans and pundits who themselves make that claim, about the 2016 election. Those comments were not censored or suppressed when made the first time around, by the likes of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Karine Jean-Pierre, Adam Schiff, Rob Reiner, Tom Arnold, and Chris Hayes, among many others.
Nor did any platform step in to issue warnings when my former boss, Keith Olbermann, promised with regard to Trump’s ascension to the White House, “It will not be a peaceful transfer of power.”
However, the decision to assemble these materials in one place, inviting audiences to consider their meaning, apparently crosses a line. Now we know: you can deny election results on a platform like YouTube as much as you want, you can even promise disruption, but drawing attention to such behavior angers the algorithm. It’s hard to imagine a better demonstration of the double-standard in content moderation.
Demonetizing a video of what Democrats have previously declared is reminiscent of Twitter blocking of the site LiberalsofTicTok to stop the site from replaying the postings of liberals.
YouTube and other companies are now openly advancing a political agenda in blocking or demonetizing such postings. This is only likely to get worse as we approach the midterm and 2024 elections. The effort is to actively block resources or access to conservative, libertarian, or contrarians viewpoints.
The company is owned by Google, which has also faced such criticism of political bias. These are publicly traded companies like Twitter that have written off many potential users to advance a political agenda of company staff. They are selling a censored product to consumers who want free speech forums. While these companies continue to dominate the market, they are fueling calls for Substack and other alternative sites committed to free speech. Taibbi writes on Substack.
Here is the video: