YouTube Community Standards Allows Russia to Monetize Disinformation Accounts But Punishes Conservative Americans

This week, propelled by the sniveling of a pathetic little anti-Semite* who trades upon his sexual perversion and ethnicity for promotional purposes but who is wildly offended when they become a source of mockery, YouTube went on a rampage of mindlessly demonetizing accounts which could possibly offend any SJW or vicious smear artist with a thin skin. The ostensible reason is that the designated villain in this melodrama, Steve Crowder, offended YouTube’s Holy of Holies, it’s alleged community standards.

No serious person believes this for a second.

Steve Crowder was demonetized to appease a nasty mouthbreather employed by Vox, not that that narrows the waterfront in the Vox newsroom very much, and they quickly cobbled together a purge on other YouTube channels to give a patina of plausibility to their action. This is not conjecture. This can be objectively proven and has been: Russian disinformation on YouTube draws ads, lacks warning labels: researchers.

Fourteen Russia-backed YouTube channels spreading disinformation have been generating billions of views and millions of dollars in advertising revenue, according to researchers, and had not been labeled as state-sponsored, contrary to the world’s most popular streaming service’s policy.

Collectively, the 26 channels drew 9 billion views from January 2017 through December 2018, Omelas found. Another 24 Russian channels with no apparent ties to disinformation attracted an additional 4 billion views, Omelas said.

Omelas estimated those 13 billion total views could have generated up to $58 million from ads, including some from Western advertisers. It estimated that Russia could have received $7 million to $32 million under YouTube’s standard revenue-sharing program, while YouTube itself would have pocketed from $6 million to $26 million.

Here we have a case of YouTube violating its own policies, working against the interests of the US government and our allies, funding more Russian disinformation, and pocketing a share of the windfall.

It is difficult, bordering on impossible, to think this happened without YouTube’s tacit consent. Given the way that Google, owned by the same parent company as YouTube, kowtows to Chinese demands for censorship, and the way Twitter banned accounts of Chinese dissidents inside and outside of China to support that government’s memory-holing of the Tiananmen Square massacre, it is not hard to imagine that a pass was given to these accounts for some sort of privileged position when operating inside of Russia.

The people at Bulwark and a couple of National Review writers can yammer on about “muh private company” but they are either stupid (in the case of The Bulwark, this is quite likely) or deliberately disingenuous. YouTube is engaged in an open and notorious policy of viewpoint discrimination in which Russian propaganda outlets are protected and American conservatives punished. If there was ever a reason for Congress (okay, I laughed out loud writing that) or the Justice Department to act to break up these tech monopolies, this is it.

* This is what you can get away with on Twitter if you are a progressive blue-check-mark type.

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