YouTube has reportedly begun removing historical and educational videos relating to the Nazi regime as a result of a campaign by leftist Vox journalist and Youtube censorship advocate Carlos Maza. One history teacher commented, “silencing the very people who seek to teach about its dangers could be counter-productive to YouTube’s intended goal.”
According to a recent report from The Guardian, YouTube has begun removing and demonetizing educational history videos relating to the Nazi regime and fascism following a campaign by leftist Vox journalist Carlos Maza to have offensive content about him removed from the platform. Carlos Maza recently called for conservative commentator Steven Crowder to be removed from YouTube, claiming that Crowder repeatedly directed homophobic slurs at him. Maza took to Twitter to call Crowder out and pressure YouTube to take action, claiming that despite being used to “online harassment,” Crowder had been “bothering him.”
YouTube was quiet about the situation for some time but has finally responded, stating that although Crowder’s language was “hurtful,” it did not violate the site’s policies. But one day later, YouTube reversed its previous statements by demonetizing Crowder’s account, preventing him from making money from ads placed on his videos. In a tweet, YouTube said “We have suspended this channel’s monetization. We came to this decision because a pattern of egregious actions has harmed the broader community and is against our YouTube Partner Program policies.”
Shortly after that, multiple other independent creators found their content removed from the site or demonetized, including history teacher Scott Allsop, who runs a website and YouTube revision channel called MrAllsopHistory. Allsop’s channel featured hundreds of historical clips on a number of topics from the Norman conquest to the cold war; his channel has now been deleted for breaching hate speech rules. “It’s absolutely vital that YouTube work to undo the damage caused by their indiscriminate implementation as soon as possible,” said Allsop. “Access to important material is being denied wholesale as many other channels are left branded as promoting hate when they do nothing of the sort.”
Richard Jones-Nerzic, a British teacher, was also affected by what has been branded the #VoxAdpocalypse. Jones-Nerzic stated that YouTube’s policy failed to take into account the extent to which the British history syllabus focused on World War 2. “Modern world study and Hitler in particular have dominated the history curriculum in the UK over the last 25 years,” said Jones-Nerzic who had a number of clips from old documentaries about the rise of Nazism removed from the platform.
Jones-Nerzic stated that he is appealing the deletion of his content and argued that this was in fact a “form of negationism or even Holocaust denial.” He added: “I have for a long time been unhappy with how my films have often been hijacked by neo-fascists through the comments section, but YouTube’s actions are far too indiscriminate.”
Allsop suggested that the site must take educational context into account when censoring content: “I fully support YouTube’s increased efforts to curb hate speech, but also feel that silencing the very people who seek to teach about its dangers could be counter-productive to YouTube’s intended goal.” A YouTube spokesperson stated that the company uses a combination of technology and employees to enforce guidelines and encouraged individuals to provide context to the clips they upload noting that they are educational material. YouTube stated that Allsop and Jones-Nerzic’s content has since been reinstated.