YouTube on Wednesday announced a broader crackdown on hate speech, but the company said it would make sure not to ban or show videos that “aim to incite or express hatred, or provide analysis of events currently.”
However, the YouTube scandal has targeted a journalist who documented extremism, presumably by mistake.
“Within minutes of @YouTube’s announcement of a new purge it seems that my output, which documents activism and extremism, was taken over,” journalist Ford Fischer wrote on Twitter yesterday. “I just notified me that every channel has been demonetized. I am a producer whose work there has been used in dozens of documentaries.”
Fischer is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of News2Share. PBS’sHate Hate Hate“series is one of the documents that rely on his image. His IMDB page list the many documentaries he has contributed to.
The News2Share YouTube channel Recent videos include footage of MAGA activists protesting participants in the anti-Trump “National March to Impeach,” footage of an altercation near the White House between a Trump supporter and a Native American, an interview with the New Black Panther Party, and the community in which Chelsea Manning was jailed for refusing to testify in a lawsuit involving WikiLeaks.
Two videos away
YouTube’s decision “pulled the rug out of my income, my entire livelihood,” Fischer wrote. In addition to removing the ads from his channel, YouTube also took down two videos, according to Fischer. One was “a video of @JasonRCharter and other antifa activists facing a Holocaust protest,” he wrote. “While it is true that the Holocaust denier said Holocaust-denier-stoff, this is a raw document documenting that it was closed.”
A video was taken of me and others confronting a Holocaust perpetrator at AIPAC. The video is considered promoting hate speech. @FordFischer now faces a huge loss of income (because it cannot profit from advertisements) for its important work in organizing important events around the country.
— Jason Charter (@JasonRCharter) June 5, 2019
Another clip removed from News2Share “is a raw video of a speech given by Mike Peinovich ‘Enoch,'” Fischer wrote, referring to him white supremacist. “While unpleasant, this book is an important study for history.” The same image was used in a PBS documentary that Fischer helped produce, he added.
YouTube’s emails to Ford informing him of the video removals said that “content that glorifies or incites violence against another person or group of people is not allowed on YouTube.” YouTube says it “review(s) educational, documentary, artistic, and scientific content on a contextual basis” and that it makes “limited exceptions” for videos “with sufficient context and appropriate and where the purpose of the posting is clear.”
While allowing his channel to be available online, YouTube told Ford that it was showing all of his dead videos because “a significant portion of his channel is incompatible with us YouTube Partner Program GuidelinesYouTube told Ford that it made this decision after a review in which “the site’s policy experts carefully looked at the videos you have uploaded to your channel.”
The YouTube Partner Program lets people make money on YouTube through ads. YouTube told Fischer he could reapply for the program in 30 days.
“We understand that you may have made accidental mistakes,” YouTube told him. “This 30-day period allows you to make changes to your channel to ensure it is in line with our policies.”
“I don’t understand how bad YouTube is at this”
Carlos Maza, a Vox writer who previously criticized YouTube for failing to ban a YouTuber who repeatedly made homophobic jokes about you, wrote“What is happening to Ford is terrible. He is an excellent journalist who does an important job. I do not understand how YouTube is also terrible in this. How can they not distinguish between excessive content white and good faith on the account of white?
(Crowder, a YouTube personality who repeatedly makes homophobic jokes about Maza, has his channel de-monetized by YouTube yesterday YouTube has previously said Crowder did not violate its rules.)
Apparently YouTube’s new crackdown also removed a video debunking Holocaust denial, which was made by science writer Brian Dunning.
“Hey @TeamYouTube, when a science writer puts up a video explaining the evidence that the Holocaust is real, and the anti-Semitic campaign to falsely portray it as hate speech, you should actually watch it instead of deleting it and saying . ME not to ‘glorify or incite violence,'” Dunning wrote on Twitter.
YouTube apparently too away a four-year-old video that mocks conspiracy theorists who say the Sandy Hook gun was a false flag.
YouTube’s declaration of its anti-hate speech yesterday said the move was “essentially banning videos that allege that one group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation, or discrimination based on qualities such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or age status.”
The newly banned videos include those “that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is blatantly discriminatory,” YouTube said. YouTube also said it would “remove content that denies well-documented violent events, such as the Holocaust or the shooting at Sand Hook Point.”
It’s not clear if or when YouTube will restore Fischer’s videos or his earning power. A YouTube-powered Twitter account told Fischer“We’re passing this on to you.”
We contacted YouTube owner Google today, and the company told us that Fischer’s situation is “under review.” We contacted Fischer and he told us that “Youtube has not reached me (to me) since the beginning.”
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