Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, Youtubes founders developed Youtube for reasons which we still are unclear of today, the story of its founding according to Chen and Hurley is simply based around a personal need which they couldn’t fulfil online, sharing videos. Meanwhile, Jawed Karim denies this and claims the idea originally began as a video-based online dating site, this turned into a general video sharing platform when Karim was unable trying to find video footage online of Janet Jackson accidentally ‘popped out’ of her dress during the 2004 Super Bowl performance
Why these ex-PayPal employees disagree on this is not known and while we cannot be sure exactly why Youtube came into existence, or even by whom, one thing we can be sure of, it did.
In the 15 years since Youtube sprang into life we have seen it change how we watch video forever. But, something even more important which Youtube really kickstarted was independent media. Traditionally, before the days of Youtube, to get an audience for your video productions you would need to spend a lot of money in the hope a Television Network would air your content, in other words, for your average person, without connections in the crony television scene you had no audience. Then came Youtube, offering anybody with a video camera to upload their videos for free and reach millions of people from around the World.
Not only did Youtube provide a platform for people to share their funny videos, music performances and general lunacy, it revolutionised how we get our News. Never before had we had a means to share video evidence of events happening on the other side of the planet so easily and freely. No more did we have to rely on the state and corporate media to provide us with News from around the World, now anybody could report, with video footage on anything, from anywhere – to anywhere in the World.
But as they say, nothing lasts forever and as with most things that can be used for extreme good, when in the wrong hands they can be used for extreme evil. The intention of where Youtube was destined for may or may not have been there from the beginning, this we do not know. But regardless, whether by initial design or infiltration further down the line once the site was snapped up by Google (a more likely scenario), the good days are over and the dark days are here. Youtube has become a tool designed for those with nefarious intentions.
Over the past year YouTube has begun to deplatform, demonetise and develop new algorithms to ensure the content you see is the content it wants you to see, not the content you want to see. It all began with the deplatforming of Alex Jones popular channel, Infowars in the summer of 2018. This was just the beginning though, as thousands of channels found themselves shut down literally overnight, without warning.
But the censorship goes far deeper than this, though having your channel deplatformed is the ultimate censorship, YouTube has many more tricks up their sleeves which work in silence, without the heavy handed approach of shutting down channels entirely. More and more content creators are finding their video’s demonetised. Entire back catalogues of some channels have found their content demonetized overnight. But thats not all, YouTube is also continually adjusting their Search algorithms to push content they don’t want you to see off the radar and content they do want you to see in the spotlight.
YouTube is not holding back, they have openly admitted that not only is content being removed which violates their policies – but they will also remove content which they deem ‘Borderline’:
“We, you know, we rank content based on quality. And so we are bringing that same notion and approach to YouTube so that we can rank higher quality stuff better and really prevent borderline content. Content which doesn’t exactly violate policies, which need to be removed, but which can still cause harm,” [source]
The question is, what does YouTube define as quality content. Google CEO Sundar Pichai keeps referring to quality content, but quality content according to whom. One thing is clear, when they refer to quality content they are not talking about quality content in the eyes of their users.
What we are seeing is a regression of YouTube back to the Television era. Where content is tightly controlled and thus narratives controlled. The rise of the Internet took freedom of speech to a new level never seen before. Everyone had a stage to speak on if they so chose to, all voices were placed on a level playing field and given the ability to speak to millions of people. Controversial topics were no longer limited to living room discussions at home, the Internet allowed all of us to have a voice.
Effectively what is happening to YouTube right now is taking what was once, a free and fair way of distributing content across the World, to a platform that carefully selects content which aligns with their own interests and then targets those they want to see it. Not dissimilar to how we used to view content from broadcast television, except now it is far more powerful as content can be handpicked at an individual level.
This is social engineering like we have never seen before, and best of all YouTube’s efforts in controlling the narrative are backed up and reinforced by all the other major platforms allowing content sharing. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all doing exactly the same thing. OYE Alternative News: Real News you can trust. Independent News and carefully selected Mainstream News. Wake Up
We Have the Power to End This, Right Now
All the measures taken by the likes of YouTube are only effective if the people continue to use their platforms, however, by switching to alternative content sharing platforms which don’t censor, demonetize and filter out content based on the narrative contained within the content.
There are plenty of alternatives out there and more and more are being built every week. We won’t get into the array of alternative platforms you can jump over to in this article.