Black Pigeon Speaks, a popular YouTube channel that focuses on history, urbanism, politics, and other topics, has been demonetized. This comes just two weeks after YouTube deleted the channel and then reinstated it a day later without any explanation.
Black Pigeon Speaks broke the news of the demonetization on Twitter and shared the email he’d received from YouTube.
In a video addressing his channel’s demonetization, Black Pigeon Speaks said that he’s only been given vague references to breaking terms of service by YouTube but no actual explanation of which terms of service he broke.
Black Pigeon Speaks added that the only reason for the demonetization that he can come up with is that he may have somehow violated YouTube’s “Harassment and Cyberbullying” policy which says “content or behavior intended to maliciously harass, threaten, or bully others is not allowed on YouTube.” He said that he makes numerous videos lampooning Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and one of those videos was removed by YouTube after his channel was restored from deletion two weeks ago. If this is the reason for the demonetization, it would be a strange interpretation of the rules by YouTube because criticizing public figures is not usually considered cyberbullying.
In the same video, Black Pigeon Speaks also said that his channel has been “brigaded for months” so mass-flagging of his videos could be another possible explanation for the channel demonetization.
YouTube has responded to Black Pigeon Speaks and says it will look into the demonetization.
Since being demonetized, Black Pigeon Speaks has also suggested that YouTube has been mistakenly running ads on some of his videos.
YouTube is claiming that this is the result of its content ID claim/match system which allows copyright owners to monetize content they have claimed. However, Black Pigeon Speaks says there is no content ID claim/match on the video he’s referring to.
The demonetization means that the Black Pigeon Speaks YouTube channel can no longer earn revenue from ads, Super Chats, YouTube Premium, or YouTube Memberships. As a result, he is asking fans of the channel to support it directly via his website, SubscribeStar, and Patreon.
The demonetization of Black Pigeon speaks is the latest in a long line of examples showing that YouTube is turning its back on the independent creator community that helped build its site and also increasingly censoring certain viewpoints.
Ever since YouTube introduced its new “hate speech” rules, numerous creators have been deplatformed and demonetized. The recent investigative report from Project Veritas indicating that YouTube is using AI to suppress what it determines to be “right-wing” creators on the site also suggests that YouTube is committed to preventing certain ideas from being heard.