YouTube permanently bans Right Wing Watch

Originally published at: YouTube permanently bans Right Wing Watch | Boing Boing


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o_0 So was this an algorithm thing, a “too many flagged/reported videos” thing, or a “reviewed by a person and decided on thing.”

If the answer is the last one, then how the fuck are the nutjobs they post about still on the platform?

I’m fine with moderation - but have a level of consistency.


Then what about left wing watch, or far left watch?

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Good question, I guess? Right backatcha – what about them?


I’d appreciate a little more analysis. It’s not necessarily inconsistent.

Suppose YouTube finds 10% of the stuff RWW archives to be so objectionable it’s a banning offense; RWW is going to get banned, because 1 out of 10 videos are ban-worthy, and at the same time 90% of the stuff they archive will not result in the original channel getting banned, because it’s not considered ban-worthy. Also RWW in this process becomes a repeat offender, some of those other channels might post one thing, get a strike, and learn to toe the line better.

I’m not convinced YouTube is the right place to archive this stuff. YouTube is a recommendation engine, and so that makes this channel implicitly a redistribution hub popularizing it, unless YouTube takes extra technical steps to make the channel unfindable. Also, YouTube would have to carve out a special exception in their rules for this kind of archival channel, and then navigate actual right-wing channels trying to claim that archival exception themselves for bullshit reasons.

RWW could instead use another platform or just put the videos on their own website… the videos would be harder to find, sure, and IMO that’s probably a good thing?

I’m not saying YouTube has great judgement or does the right thing, just that RWW isn’t necessarily finding the most practical way to do the thing we all want them to do. They can both be wrong.


That is seriously f-cked. Right Wing Watch has, for years, been a mainstay of democracy and holding the authoritarian right-wing to account. It is important for there to be a repository of right wing propaganda, so they cannot later deny or misstate (or delete) what they most certainly have said.

Beschizza is imputing bad faith and active malignance when incompetence and overzealousness can also account for this banning. I seriously doubt it will hold, should awareness of the ban become widespread and notorious. “Violating its guidlines?” Does youtube think fascists are using RWW to get their rocks off? (I seriously doubt it.) This is like when the school principal bans both the bully and his victim “because they were fighting.”

On this basis, they can ban all youtube channels that document the facts of the Holocaust…


The internet archive would be a pretty perfect repository for this sort of stuff, I think. Hopefully they have an off-site archive they can upload there.


Youtube doesn’t care about the purpose of the videos. The denial is form letter based purely on the metrics. X number of complaints and you’re out.

I doubt even “verified” YT community mods can help with this one.

And this is often the problem faced by people calling out scammers, as often they trigger a flood of “complaints” and they got banned. I recalled Ethan Vanderbuilt getting banned for a short period in 2018. I just checked again and he has no YT videos. Looks like they got him after all.


It’s easy to say that it’s incompetence rather than malice, but this sort of thing consistently happens- white supremacists, Qanon, misogynists and other alt-right garbage people are almost always given a free pass while anyone exposing them, criticizing them, or pushing progressive politics too far gets the smackdown immediately. This happens across all social media and it’s not an accident.


This. It’s easy for people to find, and it’s free, but just not suitable for archival purposes.




I’m open to incompetence, but at some point to number of whoopsies that fall in a certain direction becomes evidence in its own right. Somehow, consistently year over year the balance of mistakes on the major platforms seems to favor right wing actors.




Mr Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.” - Auric Goldfinger


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It’s amazing how much some will be willing to give corporations who are clearly backing the right wing the benefit of the doubt, over and over again. This is what kills democracy, giving quarter to the hard right at all.


Mmh, I would go with the following definition:

noun: chaos ; plural noun: chaoses

  1. complete disorder and confusion.

YouTube is a royal mess: even years ago, they reported one hour of video uploaded every minute. There’s no chance in hell to curate or even partially control this flood, not even with a zillion people working on it, so whatever they do (blocking, unblocking etc) is a futile, random gesture, performed just to present an illusion of control.
And like @adamrice says, that’s not a place where you should archive serious stuff.
Lastly, media companies will perforce have a right-wing slant: they are owned by rich people, who naturally, obvioudsly tend to lean right. Ever seen a rich communist? (outside of Repub’s fever dreams obvs).

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They are run by people who constantly and desperately supplicate to conservatives in a futile quest to be liked and accepted by them, which is one reason why the systems they create to streamline and expedite content moderation (human, algorithmic and otherwise) tend to serve conservative interests.

Citation effing needed, Schizz.

There are plenty of identical in nature posts on right wing sites crying about liberal bias and cancel culture on YouTube.

To the extent this about anything it’s unbridled corporatism, Nurse Ratched lobotomizing any content outside of the cultural beige in the name of peace and quiet and opiated autoplay.