Why YouTube (and Free Speech in General) Is Going Down - Caleb Jones

As I talked about here, everyone hates free speech. Both the left, the right, and the elites are extremely uncomfortable with the concept that on the internet, you can say pretty much whatever you want. A few months back, I talked about YouTube’s strange, Nazi-like crackdown on free speech over there. In the last few months, this is grown even worse.

As some of you may already be aware, back in April the mainstream media showcased a blatantly racist video that had only a few views and subscribers, and demonstrated that YouTube was showing corporate ads on this video. Many of these big corporations screamed at YouTube and some pulled their advertising.

YouTube freaked. They created an algorithm that de-monetized any video that had any “controversial content.” The problem was the algorithm was way too broad. “Controversial” could mean that you had “ISIS,” “Syria,” or even “Russia” in the title of your video(!).

The result was that thousands of political YouTube channels, both on the left and the right, had 90-95% of their income wiped out overnight. This included many of the channels I watch on a regular basis, again, on the left and the right (I make sure to consume both left and right content to make sure I’m getting the entire picture). This included The David Packman Show, Secular Talk, The Amazing Atheist, Louder With Crowder, and many others.

YouTube content providers made panicked videos, showing graphs of their drops of literally 95%+ in their YouTube income pretty much overnight. Since most content providers are not very good businesspeople, these guys were in big trouble. YouTube was their only income stream in their business (unlike an Alpha 2.0 business where you always make sure to have multiple income streams and never rely on once source), so they were really screwed.

They were forced to use a new website called Patreon, where you ask your viewers to pay a few bucks a month, voluntarily, to keep their shows on the air, since YouTube won’t pay these people anymore (or as much as they were getting before). Even though these guys all made the mistake of relying 100% of their livelihoods on an external, corporatist entity like Google (which owns YouTube), I felt sorry for them.

So these guys all started using Patreon and things more or less returned to normal (except they all now beg you to sign up to Patreon and give them money on most of their videos, which is sort of sad). You would think that was the end of it.

But no, it got even worse.

Now Patreon is starting to ban content creators and are kicking them off of their site. The first victim is right-wing commentator Lauren Southern. You can watch her video here where she gives all the details. As you might expect, Patreon kicked her off her page for something she said they didn’t like. They didn’t even state specifically what she said that was the problem. Watch the video; it’s pretty incredible. Most of her income has now evaporated. Again.

Like Google and YouTube, Patreon is a left-leaning company, based in hyper-left-wing Silicon Valley, so Lauren will not be the last right-winger to be banned, but indeed the first of many. To be fair, many left-wing sites were affected by the YouTube de-monetization too. We’ll now see the ratio of left-wing vs. right-wing content creators who are going to start being banned from Patreon, the last place YouTube content creators were able to go if they wanted to maintain their incomes.

Obviously I disagree with both the left and right on most political issues, particularly their shared addiction to irrational leader-worship. That doesn’t matter in thise case, because I’m also a free speech absolutist. You should be allowed to say whatever you want to say on the internet, even if other people or even most people find it offensive.

Twitter, Google, Patreon, etc are private companies and they’re free to ban or de-monetize whomever they like, but this ongoing saga clearly shows how much effort the elites are putting toward stifling any kind of speech that threatens their power. Expect all of this to get worse. Much worse.

Eventually, there will be new alternatives to YouTube, Twitter, Patreon, etc, but this will take time. In the meantime, it will be harder and harder for content creators to speak in their voice, and for you to get all sides of issues and events that you need to form valid opinions.

Enjoy the decline!

21 Comments on “Why YouTube (and Free Speech in General) Is Going Down

  1. This wouldn’t be a problem if you just sold digital products on YouTube instead of begging for patreon donations right?

  2. I think the problem is that the content providers are lacking in some core business skills. And why wouldn’t they be? The internet has made doing what they do so freaking easy that the first obstacle they come across they fold up and die.

    I mean the web made creating business so easy it is ridiculous. It used to be that in England if you wanted to start a limited liability corporation that you needed an act of parliament, now you can do it online in three days for $200. At the click of a button you have access to a billion people to market to, you have infrastructure costs that are either zero or close to zero, and production costs that are mostly sweat equity. Even if you are creating physical products with outsourcing, 3d printers, on demand electronics, and a million other just in time services it is massively easier than it ever was. Creating a business today, compared to just twenty years ago, hell ten years ago, is ridiculously easy. But every business hits little hurdles and you need to have at least a little gumption to get past them.

    If it were me? I’d pull my vids from youtube and replace then with a rant about youtube.com being a bunch of big censors and “go to this web site to see my content”, then I’d move my videos over there. The people who watch these sorts of videos would eat that up, and there are lots of alternatives out there already with ready made monetization.

    It is the way the free market is supposed to work. Google is supposed to be squeezed in a trap between those who say “you show racist crap, I’ll go somewhere else” and those who say “you won’t show my video? I’ll go somewhere else”. The squeeze from both sides is supposed to both find an equlibrium and also create niche markets. It is a good thing, but providers are so used to the easy life on the net they can’t even handle a tiny obstacle.

    “Free speech” is about government restrictions not private property owners deciding what can be done on their property, no matter how stupid their views are. The difference between “you’ll go to jail if you say that” and “I’ll kick you out if you say that” is the difference between night and day, tyranny and freedom.

     

     

  3. The difference between “you’ll go to jail if you say that” and “I’ll kick you out if you say that” is the difference between night and day, tyranny and freedom.

    Yup. They just need to go elsewhere. Or just not get on their soapbox and tell others that their opinions and beliefs are “right.” Its not like all those content creators were getting SWAT’d with members of the national guard kicking down their door or anything.

    Its not even a matter of “I’ll kick you out if you say that,” its a matter of “I’ll let you say that, I just won’t pay you.” The solution for youtubers is easy; instead of making a “news channel” (which 95% of the time revolves around assholes getting on their social/political soapbox instead of actually reporting current events), make different content. Or talk trash or make fun of other youtubers or people. That works too; youtubers have been getting paid off of that for years.

  4. Twitter, Google, Patreon, etc are private companies and they’re free to ban or de-monetize whomever they like, but this ongoing saga clearly shows how much effort the elites are putting toward stifling any kind of speech that threatens their power. Expect all of this to get worse. Much worse.

    Meh, this is nothing I wasn’t predicting back in high school. The end of free speech (and by this I mean extensions of the Patriot Act that allow the NSA to literally spy on every citizen), martial law, curfews, all “for our protection.” By the 2030s one of those will begin to directly affect us no matter what. The things that made me a “raging conspiracy theorist” in high school are now beginning to actually surface. This actually scares me.

    This is why I say that although demonstrations, voting, and protests are ineffective, violence is. If there is a bloody revolution against the elites something might change, but the elites are way too powerful now. They have stronger numbers and weapons than ever.

  5. This wouldn’t be a problem if you just sold digital products on YouTube instead of begging for patreon donations right?

    Correct! When I start doing regular videos I will be relying 100% on the sales of my own products and services. I will consider any ad revenue or donations as an extra bonus but I won’t plan on any of it. I will also double-post all my videos to YouTube and some other service, just in case YouTube bans them.

    I think the problem is that the content providers are lacking in some core business skills.

    I agree, as I indicated in the article. At least I agree that’s a strong component of the problem, though not the entire problem.

    “Free speech” is about government restrictions not private property owners deciding what can be done on their property, no matter how stupid their views are. The difference between “you’ll go to jail if you say that” and “I’ll kick you out if you say that” is the difference between night and day, tyranny and freedom.

    Correct! Although tightening of free speech in the private market can easily result a similar tightening in government circles.

    People don’t understand that this hatred of free speech is a cultural problem.

    And government is a part of the culture.

    Or talk trash or make fun of other youtubers or people. That works too; youtubers have been getting paid off of that for years.

    Yep; YouTube is full of “YouTube drama,” but sadly, drama sells.

  6. People don’t understand that this hatred of free speech is a cultural problem.
    Right, and I doubt there has ever been a society or a people who loved free speech. Why? Because people seem to thing that free speech is the right to say whatever they want, when in fact it is the right for anyone to say whatever they want, including things you think are vile and horrendous. Everyone is in favor of free speech for those with whom they agree, very few are in favor of free speech for their enemies or those they vilify.

     

  7. this ongoing saga clearly shows how much effort the elites are putting toward stifling any kind of speech that threatens their power

     

    I’m not seeing any evidence that points towards someone’s nefarious plans. Instead, it’s pretty obvious that the cost of a purely emotional public outcry against controversial content is greater than the losses incurred by banning a content provider or two or a thousand.

    So it’s just CYA by Facebook, YouTube etc. That the masses choose convenience over freedom is nothing new, and that rational businesses choose profit over freedom (especially someone else’s) is nothing new either.

  8. Everyone is in favor of free speech for those with whom they agree, very few are in favor of free speech for their enemies or those they vilify.

    Correct. I am in that very few, but you’re right; we are a very few.

    I’m not seeing any evidence that points towards someone’s nefarious plans.

    It’s not relevant, at least to me, whether this is “nefarious plans” (which I agree it isn’t’) or “CYA.” Both are actions taken by the elites to stifle free speech. Both are indicative of a cultural dislike for free speech, and an indication that this problem is getting worse, not better.

  9. Anti-free speachers (there should be a better term for them) like to make the argument of “They have the right to block whoever they want, the First Amendment doesn’t cover that.” Which is true, but misses the point. Free speach isn’t just a legal concept, it’s a personal value. There are a lot of people I don’t like on Youtube and other sites, but I know if they start getting shut down then the controversial people I like are going to be next. I believe that if you’re right you shouldn’t fear people who disagree with you getting a platform.

  10. Along with our rights being degraded, the U.S. is becoming more and more of a police state where silly laws that should never be enforced are being enforced as if they are major felonies. And the people who break these laws are being treated as serious criminals. All of which is wasting my tax dollars and hurting people.

    In my city in California people regularly get tickets for J walking. The other night I was going into a night club. Outside, there were three police cars and 6 officers with a full array of weapons and body armor surrounding a young women. It turns out she was being ticketed for trying to use a fake ID.

    My girlfriends younger cousin who is 20 is facing a misdemeanor that will stay on her criminal record for underage drinking. What a waste of resources, and a travesty for people who perpetrate these so called “crimes”.

    I think the police state problem and the encroachment of our free speech and other rights are rooted in politicians who base all their decisions on reelection instead of basing them on principals rooted in the constitution and Declaration of Independence. The U.S. is becoming a place were populist democracy is eating away at our rights and constitution.

  11. It’s not like youtube invented free speech.  We can still say what the fuck ever… It’s just our personal lives are now broadcast on facebook, twitter, instagram etc so we could offend our boss, friends, etc.  The real problem is content creaters “felt” like those platforms supported free speech, conflicting opinions, etc.  There will probably be a platform civil war.

     

    The smart entrepreneurs are building the right wing facebook, youtube, and google as we speak.  🙂

  12. The smart entrepreneurs are building the right wing facebook, youtube, and google as we speak.

    There are several of these already, but none of them have taken off.

    I really don’t want a right-wing version of Twitter or YouTube or whatever. In my limited experience with these things (manosphere forums, etc), these echo chambers ban people for not agreeing with them quite a bit.

    Rather than a social media platform that is left or right, I want one that is focused on free speech. “Come here, say whatever the fuck you want regardless of topics, politics, or ‘hate speech,’ and we won’t ever demonetize you, ban you, or block your videos. Ever!” That’s what I want. Will we ever get something like that? I don’t know.

  13. Yeah something like that would be great. If somebody wants to start it and needs help, the man is Vox Day. He has a huge following and a similar mindset regarding free speech.

  14. I want that too. You are the man to start it Caleb!

    Haha, no I’m not. I have way too many projects on my plate as it is.

    Yeah something like that would be great. If somebody wants to start it and needs help, the man is Vox Day. He has a huge following and a similar mindset regarding free speech.

    Vox is a hardcore alt-righter. I’m not sure he’s the man for the job either. It would be very difficult for him to be objective.

  15. Caleb, I have a question. Above you mentioned income diversity. If I write a bunch of books and publish them through Amazon, would that count as income diversity? Or an AM 2.0 income source? That doesn’t seem to be the case since I’m still dependent on a massive corp for the money or did I miss something when I read your book?

    Oh, and, Lauren Southern is a right-wing attention whore. Yes. She’s white, blonde, young and hot. Plenty of dudes that pine for this type of wife/girlfriend and will give her obscene amounts of undue attention.

    And there are alternatives to Patreon and other crap. PayPal and Bitcoin are some alternatives.

  16. If I write a bunch of books and publish them through Amazon, would that count as income diversity?

    No. That’s one income stream (one line of products to the same market). Income diversity would mean you sell books on Amazon and you also sell (for example) consulting services to cleaning companies. See how different those two are?

    And yes, your second problem is that you’re reliant on a single source: Amazon.

    Oh, and, Lauren Southern is a right-wing attention whore. Yes. She’s white, blonde, young and hot. Plenty of dudes that pine for this type of wife/girlfriend and will give her obscene amounts of undue attention.

    I know; Tomi Lahren is the same. They’re both in their early 20’s which means their opinions regarding life are not yet fully formed. Wait until they’re both 35; I think their supporters will be shocked at how much their political opinions change by then.

  17.  I think their supporters will be shocked at how much their political opinions change by then

    IMO the million dollar question is: do they political opinions change because they get older or because society itself has changed in those ten years?

  18. In my limited experience with these things (manosphere forums, etc), these echo chambers ban people for not agreeing with them quite a bit.

    Yup. They are just as bad as the SJdubses who they detest so much. Both groups have mastered the art of using collectivism to satisfy their egos. I’ve gotten banned from both Roosh’s board as well as Atheism+ for doing essentially the same thing; playing the Devil’s advocate. This kind of stuff was WELCOME back in the day. Now? Not so much. Thanks, collectivism.

    I want one that is focused on free speech. “Come here, say whatever the fuck you want regardless of topics, politics, or ‘hate speech,’ and we won’t ever demonetize you, ban you, or block your videos. Ever!” 

    You know its a sad day when even my camp, the anarcho capitalists don’t even support this kind of thing anymore. We had this in the mid 00s with troll communities like 4chan and Something Awful, but those communities are long gone, and overtaken by (mostly) alt-righters and white nationalist communities who are weird try hards.

    -History of my trolling past incoming-

    One of the reasons I support trolls so much (even “bloobie kunts,” which is our term for “anonymous troll”) is because they are often the biggest proponents of free speech. They allow and accept anything and everything. If you say or do anything stupid, you’ll just get trolled into oblivion. I oscillated between 4chan and Something Awful back in the mid 00s, and that’s exactly how those communities operated. Being in those communities provided a much needed outlet for the overwhelming losses in my family that I had to endure. But now, collectivism (ESPECIALLY MGTOW) has destroyed almost the entire internet, troll communities included. Even PUAhate and the misc were fun to post on until about 5 or so years ago.

    A few years ago, I tried going on these same communities for lulz, but almost everyone who posts there for the last 5 or so years is a woman hating MGTOW and if you diss try-hards (something I do quite often) you’ll get flamed hard for it to the point where you get death threats and stuff. The troll communities in the 00s never attacked anyone personally, we just made fun of everything around us (and each other). There’s a difference between trolling, flaming, and threats. The troll communities of the mid 00s knew that. They don’t know that anymore. Spamming personal attacks =/= Trolling.

    Unfortunately, nowadays most trolls are, like Alex Jones and Vox Day are collectivist Alt-Righers who get just as triggered as the groups they are trying to trigger. Even Encyclopedia Dramatica’s community is getting like this. It sucks.

    Why must collectivism take the lulz away from everyone?

Leave a Reply

To leave a comment, enter your comment below. PLEASE make sure to read the commenting rules before commenting, since failure to follow these rules means your comment may be deleted. Also please do not use the username “Anonymous” or “Anon” or any variation thereof (makes things too confusing).

Off-topic comments are allowed, but Caleb will ignore those.

Caleb responds to comments in person, but he only does so on the two most current blog articles.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search.