YouTube demonetized the account of the conservative news site Western Journal, accusing the account owners of “duplicating content,” although the Google subsidiary declined to specify what material in particular violated the video platform’s terms of service.
“Youtube demonetized our account and told us the reason was ‘duplication,” said Shaun Hair, executive editor of the Western Journal.
“We had zero copyright strikes and zero community guideline strikes. Not even a recent warning. Youtube has on three occasions declined to explain or even give a single example of why duplication is other than generic language about copyright rules.”
The Western Journal has previously exposed big tech’s biases through original reporting. In July, analyses commissioned by the site revealed that GOP representatives had been hit by massive declines in Facebook interactions since the social network’s algorithm changes in January. The Western Journal also found that the algorithm change disproportionately impacted conservative websites.
YouTube was among the many Silicon Valley companies to censor Alex Jones and InfoWars earlier this month, deleting the radio host’s channel, which had more than 2 million subscribers and many years’ worth of video content.
The video sharing platform has also censored conservative education project Prager University, putting its informational videos behind “restricted mode” filters, which limit the channel’s visibility to YouTube users. This resulted in PragerU suing the platform.
The video sharing platform recently announced it will fund 50 original shows in 2019, which will be released to users who pay a monthly fee for the site’s YouTube Premium service.