The Google-owned video sharing platform YouTube has demonetized numerous independent media accounts, a jarring escalation in the steadily intensifying campaign against alternative news outlets online.
Progressive commentators Graham Elwood, The Progressive Soapbox, The Convo Couch, Franc Analysis, Hannah Reloaded and Cyberdemon531 have all received notifications from YouTube that their videos are no longer permitted to earn money through the platform’s various monetization features, as has Ford Fischer, a respected freelancer who films US political demonstrations. No explanation has been offered for this decision beyond the vague claim that “your channel is not in line with our YouTube Partner Program policies” due to “harmful content”.
You guys have destroyed my channel without legit explanation as to why. No videos are given – and frankly there is literally zero “harmful’ content on my channel. This is a radically bad error that needs to be corrected. @TeamYouTube @YouTubeCreators @YouTube
— ProgressiveSoapbox (@theProgSoapbox) February 3, 2021
Like all large online platforms, YouTube’s appeals process is notoriously opaque and unaccountable. These accounts could remain demonetized for months, or forever, without any clear explanation at all. Ford Fischer, who has been in this situation before, said on Twitter that his account was left demonetized for seven months before YouTube reversed its decision.
“Last time you demonetized my channel, I spoke out for seven months. I didn’t delete a single piece of content. You admitted you were wrong. I forgive you. Please don’t do this again,” Fischer tweeted.
“You guys have destroyed my channel without legit explanation as to why,” tweeted Jamarl Thomas of Progressive Soapbox. “No videos are given – and frankly there is literally zero ‘harmful’ content on my channel. This is a radically bad error that needs to be corrected.”
The Convo Couch’s Jonathan Mayorca tweeted the notification he received from YouTube which gave the reason as “Harmful content: Content that focuses on controversial issues and that is harmful to viewers,” saying no specific video or subject was named.