It appears that YouTube is deliberately targeting channels on its network that feature conservative or Christian viewpoints.
Michael Brown, who hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk show program, Line of Fire, and the ASKDrBrown YouTube channel says that recently, his videos have been getting a lot less income. It seems that YouTube has been demonetizing many of his videos.
A recent example of this is a video featuring Dr. Brown interviewing a former KKK Grand Wizard who is now the pastor of an African American church. YouTube stated that it was “not suitable for viewers.” Dr. Brown thought perhaps it was because it had “KKK” in the title, but he had also noticed that any videos that had Islam in the title would also be demonetized – although sometimes upon requesting a review, YouTube would reinstate the video.
Dr. Brown recounts in an interview with Christian Post how YouTube marked on their account that if they noticed a drop in video income it could be because the account had been marked as not suitable for all advertisers. That’s when he realized it wasn’t just one or two or even ten or twenty videos that had been flagged. It was the entire account. Literally pages and pages – adding up to about 900 videos total – had been flagged.
Some of the videos flagged where clearly harmless featuring such conversations such as whether or not God prays, testimonies of various converts to Christianity, whether or not Jesus claimed to be God, and so forth.
Since 2016, Dennis Prager has been fighting a similar battle to keep his videos on YouTube after the company began restricting his videos. This means that they were placed under any censored category so that with any type of filtering people would not be able to view them. YouTube claimed at the time that it was based entirely on algorithms and had nothing to do with censoring conservative content.
In response, PragerU started a petition calling for YouTube to remove the restriction.
An article from 2016 in the National Review provides more details:
Every week, PragerU (the generally used name for Prager University) posts at least one five-minute video presentation online. These presentations are on just about every subject and are given by important thinkers — some very well-known, some not. The list includes dozens of professors at, among other universities, MIT, Notre Dame, Princeton, Dayton, Boston College, Stanford, UCLA, Harvard, and West Point; a black member of the South African Parliament; comedians Adam Carolla and Yakov Smirnoff; two former prime ministers (Spain and Denmark); three Pulitzer Prize winners (George Will, Bret Stephens, and Judith Miller); Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs; Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Arthur Brooks, Jonah Goldberg, Alan Dershowitz, Nicholas Eberstadt, Larry Elder, Steve Forbes, Walter Williams, Christina Hoff Sommers, George Gilder, Victor Davis Hanson; Bjørn Lomborg, Heather Mac Donald, Eric Metaxas, Amity Shlaes, and the commander of British troops in Afghanistan, among many others.
This is a pretty broad expanse of presenters. Yet YouTube showed a common theme when restricting PragerU’s videos. They placed the most restrictions on videos talking about race relations, abortion, and Islam. None of these videos had violent or sexual content, so it’s very had to believe that “algorithims” were to blame. Again, it’s a clear case of censorship of conservative content taking place.
In August of this year, YouTube announced officially that it would begin catching and flagging controversial “religious and supremacist” content. This directly affects the ability of conservative content creators to make money from their work. Conservative and Independent YouTubers feel that this is a direct effort to muzzle their voices while simultaneously stripping them of a a main source of income.