The Job Creators Network (JCN), a non-profit that is pro-small businesses, expressed its frustration with YouTube and criticised the platform after it ended up slapping an “inappropriate content” warning on a video uploaded by the NGO when they provided video footage of small businesses being destroyed by rioters.
“YouTube’s decision to slap an inappropriate content restriction on our video depicting news footage of rioting shows Google’s left-wing bias. It amounts to censorship of opposing political opinions. YouTube does not treat left-wing videos that depict violent protests with similar warnings that depress view count and reach,” said the president and CEO of JCN, Alfredo Ortiz.
JCN’s video that is now being labelled inappropriate by YouTube is titled “Keep America America: Is Your City Next?” and is 30 seconds long. It shows several instances of violence in the riots that have been taking place across the country.
While labelling a video “inappropriate” would not essentially kill it on the platform, it would just make it harder to promote or propagate to a wider set of audience. When videos are restricted from being promoted by YouTube, it becomes difficult to boost their reach and so an “inappropriate content” label does a great extent of damage to creators on the platform.
With the JCN wanting to spread awareness about the rioting and discourage people from destroying property, a restriction such as this makes that more difficult.
“An inappropriate content warning does not stop the video from being viewed, but users must log in and click that they ‘understand and wish to proceed’ before viewing. This warning prevents videos from being promoted, reducing their reach and view count. JCN notes how this censorship neither applies to left-wing videos that depict protest violence nor the original news videos from which the rioting clips are taken. JCN calls on YouTube to treat all political content fairly and without partisan bias,” said JCN.
Furthermore, the JCN also said that platforms such as YouTube should remain politically neutral and allow people from all political spectrums to express their viewpoints without the fear of censorship.
“They should uphold the values of free speech that are the basis of their revenue model and popularity. Social media’s widespread censorship of conservative views demonstrates society’s slide away from the values of free speech. President Trump should nominate a strong defender of the First Amendment to the Supreme Court to help reestablish this fundamental right of all Americans.”