It often feels as though the entirety of the Internet is nothing more than a string of websites and organizations that exist to silence conservative thought and opinion. Last May, for instance, Facebook came under fire for allegedly suppressing conservative news in the “trending topics” section of the website. Colin Stretch, general counsel at Facebook, stated at the time that “Suppressing political content or preventing people from seeing what matters most to them is directly contrary to our mission and our business objectives,” adding that the social media giant was deeply troubled by the allegations of bias made against them. However, Stretch went on to say that the investigation into Facebook “could not fully exclude the possibility of isolated improper actions of unintentional bias.” Despite denying the allegations, Facebook quickly changed the way that their trending section was run to ensure that instances of isolated political bias would not occur in the future. (RELATED: Learn how to beat Facebook censorship and stay connected to suppressed news sources)
Twitter isn’t free from this sort of anti-conservative bias either. Early in 2016, former Breitbart News columnist and Internet personality Milo Yiannopoulos claimed that Twitter was “shadowbanning” conservatives, libertarians and anti-PC types so that most of their tweets didn’t show up in the Twitter feeds of their followers.
Indeed, in August of the same year, University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn Reynolds had his Twitter account suspended because he tweeted a news story about anti-cop protestors standing in the way of traffic with the comment “run them down.” Reynolds argued that the action taken by Twitter was not justified and that he was simply encouraging people to continue driving to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. (RELATED: Read about how Twitter censors all searches for cannabis to defend big Pharma)
Now, it appears that YouTube may be jumping on the anti-free speech bandwagon as well. According to a report published last Thursday in The Firearm Blog, “It appears that all gun related videos on YouTube have been flagged as restricted material. That means that either YouTube’s algorithm or users have flagged them as inappropriate for one reason or another.” The report added, “Once a video is flagged it is no longer eligible for monetization.”
In addition to this, Guns.com reports that firearm advocates on YouTube are finding it more and more difficult to run ads, thereby having a significant impact on the amount of money the vloggers are able to make.
This is unfortunate for multiple reasons. The first thing that people need to understand is that many people, including gun advocates, make a living by creating YouTube videos. It is entirely possible for some of the more popular YouTube channels to make thousands of dollars each month, but reaching that point requires significant financial investment. In the case of your typical firearm channel, vloggers might have to spend money on the creation and maintenance of a personal gun range, expensive camera equipment and editors to put the entire video together. When YouTube restricts the number of ads that these firearm vloggers can run, it limits the overall net income and the profit margin shrinks substantially.
The second reason why these new revelations are so unfortunate is because they are yet another blatant attack on freedom of speech. One could even argue that this is a double whammy, so to speak, because YouTube is suppressing the First Amendment free speech rights of Second Amendment advocates. YouTube needs to understand that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution doesn’t list “offensive political views” or “politically incorrect language” as exceptions to freedom of speech.
Conservatives are already outnumbered in Hollywood, in the mainstream media and on college campuses – if we lose ground on the Internet, where will we have left to go?