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State of the YouTube: Censoring the Alt-Right or just the Right?

by Joe Bursley The opinions and views expressed in State of YouTube are those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte's editorial board. On Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, CNN tweeted a photo of Rev. Dr. King claiming, among other things, “he was a socialist before it was cool.” Some claimed that this was accurate; some believed this was a stretch. Others, regardless of whether or not Dr. King was a socialist, believed it was inappropriate for a news outlet such as CNN to promote an ideology such as socialism as “cool,” claiming that it revealed a bias in reporting during this scandalous time of “fake news.” Among them was Dave Rubin, who used his monetized YouTube channel to issue a direct message arguing “Socialism Isn’t Cool.” Shortly afterwards, Dave discovered that YouTube had demonetized his video, citing it was “not suitable for most advertisers” without explaining why. Furious as well as curious, Rubin then uploaded a short video titled “Capitalism Isn’t Cool” and found that this video stayed monetized. Now, Dave Rubin is not a typical conservative. One of the former hosts of The Young Turks, Dave claims to be a “classical liberal” who left the liberal network and the general modern movement altogether because of the “lazy thinking of progressives.” Rubin now hosts his own show on YouTube called the Rubin Report, where he interviews multiple people of multiple viewpoints on multiple topics in an effort to shine light on the type of discussion and discourse not often found in the short and segmented format of mainstream media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News. He has, however, admitted that he enjoys the company of right-leaning thinkers more than those on the left, even if he disagrees with their viewpoints, if only because they are more willing to sit down and have an honest and open conversation. The “modern regressive Left,” as he claims, is more focused on silencing those viewpoints they disagree with. The incident with YouTube, one of many similar occurrences, serves to prove his point. Dave Rubin isn’t the only victim of this supposed oppression of free speech. Prager University, which hosted Dave’s video “Why I Left the Left,” is currently in the process of suing Google, YouTube’s parent corporation, for placing over three dozen of their educational videos on “Restricted” mode, cutting all monetization and prohibiting viewers under 18 or at some schools and universities from viewing said content. During the State of the Union in January, the Daily Wire streamed the speech with commentary before and after, discussing President Trump’s first year in office, modern conservatism, and where to purchase the best foreign cigars. The livestream, which also aired on Facebook and the Daily Wire website, was taken down on YouTube due to a copyright claim issued by Turner Broadcasting, owner of CNN. The Kicker? Daily Wire was using publicly owned and funded C-SPAN for their stream of the speech, not CNN. Now, before I go further, I want to make clear that this isn’t a “Mainstream Media is Biased!” piece or even a “Regressive Leftists Hate the Truth!” piece. I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you fall on, and I respect your right to voice your opinion. In fact, that is the exact purpose of this piece: to examine freedom of speech in the ever-changing media and political landscape, and whether or not YouTube can—and should—be allowed to make these decisions for their platform, at the expense of viewers and content creators alike. I will try my best to look at both sides of the argument, and then give my opinion at the end (although you can probably guess what I think already).

ON THE ONE HAND: The case for YouTube

left-leaning stance multiple other areas
Image from Capital Research Center
technically interesting relationship YouTube has also
under fire for recently. Patreon Louder with Crowder FreedomToons Matt Christansen obligation “heckler’s veto” some college campuses

ON THE OTHER: The case against YouTube

just like Dave Rubin popular platform to rival Google.
Image from Linus Tech Tips
infamous Logan Paul scandal
Image from The Sun
the LGBT+ community
Sources: Wikipedia The Wall Street Journal The Week Patreon he Huffington Post Engadget Student News Daily Images: The Sun Linus Tech Tips Capital Research Center