Independent journalist Ford Fischer has been caught up in the latest YouTube adpocalypse with his entire News2Share channel being demonetized and two of his videos being removed. Commentators from all sides of the political spectrum describe Fischer as an honest, non-political journalist and his work has been featured in many Oscar and Emmy award-winning films.
Fischer's News2Share channel features on the ground reporting with very little opinion and it's not clear how it violates YouTube's new “hate speech” rules. However, since the rules are based on YouTube's own subjective interpretation of “hate,” it could be for anything that YouTube employees have deemed “hateful.”
Fischer announced that the News2Share YouTube channel had been demonetized minutes after YouTube introduced its new rules.
Within minutes of @YouTube's announcement of a new purge it appears they caught my outlet, which documents activism and extremism, in the crossfire.
I was just notified my entire channel has been demonetized. I am a journalist whose work there is used in dozens of documentaries. pic.twitter.com/HscG2S4dWh
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) June 5, 2019
He added that two of his videos had been removed and said that both were simply documenting specific events. Fischer said the first video featured the political activist Jason Charter and other Antifa activists confronting a Holocaust denier while the second video featured Mike Peinovich “Enoch.”
The only other one flagged was raw video of a speech given by Mike Peinovich "Enoch." While unpleasant, this documentation is essential research for history.
Indeed, this exact footage was used in a PBS documentary I associate produced, which MLKIII presented at the premiere. pic.twitter.com/O5p1tPoFnH
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) June 5, 2019
Fischer's footage has been used in a number of Oscar and Emmy award-winning documentaries including “White Right: Meeting the Enemy.” His footage has also been used by many large media corporations including The New York Times and PBS. Fischer adds that his channel is often used by researchers and filmmakers and by deleting these two videos, YouTube is removing historical footage and news.
One of the most notable things about Fischer's News2Share channel being hit is that he has support from all sides of the political spectrum with many commentators believing he does great work which contains very little politics or opinion.
The weirdest demonetization by far is @FordFischer – he just does on-the-ground news reports. Barely any opinion in his videos, and he doesn't identify strongly with the left or right.
— china lied people died (@LibertarianBlue) June 5, 2019
The YouTube purge has already unfairly caught up at least one journalist: Ford Fischer, who does great work covering political events. https://t.co/cdZE4RzZ1E
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) June 5, 2019
WOW the scary part of this is that @FordFischer is a legit honest journalist, never "advocate neo-Nazism, white supremacy and other bigoted ideologies" which is the official excuse for this PURGE!!! https://t.co/wT1vvemtJC
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) June 5, 2019
Without the documentary footage people like @FordFischer captures, it's impossible to create powerful films like @AdamBhalaLough's "Alt-Right: Age of Rage" to expose what people are saying.@TeamYouTube needs to review this case as closely as they did the @scrowder videos. https://t.co/tMHmgA0C1a
— Nicholas Sarwark (@nsarwark) June 5, 2019
Ironically Vox, the company that pressured YouTube to punish creators before this latest adpocalypse, has previously used Fischer's work. Carlos Maza, the Vox host whose complaints led to YouTube introducing the new “hate speech” rules which triggered this adpocalypse, has also complained about Fischer being demonetized.
What's happening to Ford is fucking awful. He's a good journalist doing important work.
I don't understand how @YouTube is still so bad at this. How can they not differentiate between white supremacist content and good faith reporting on white supremacy? https://t.co/AEpDvTH4I1
— Carlos Maza ? (@gaywonk) June 6, 2019
Fischer is one of the many creators who have been caught in the crossfire of this YouTube adpocalypse. What's notable about Fischer's case is that those who were pushing YouTube to act more aggressively are now complaining that this more aggressive demonetization has had unintended consequences. It's yet another example of how when companies try to regulate content based on subjective terms such as “hate,” many innocent parties get caught in the fallout.