Jimmy Dore Discusses Advertising and Censorship on YouTube

In this video, Jimmy Dore, an American comedian, who’s been a regular guest on The Young Turks, discusses the guidelines YouTube decided to impose on its users, who generate an income from the advertising that accompanies their videos. Jimmy Dore’s show is one of them, so is Secular Talk with Kyle Kulinski, along with many, many others. Dore here discusses how there was a firewall between advertisers and himself. YouTube looked after the advertising, leaving him and his show’s producers and creators to concentrate on making the show itself.

This has changed. Now YouTube has issued a set of guidelines stating that they will not allow advertising on certain videos. This includes, but ‘is not limited to’

* Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humour.
* Violence, including displays of serious injury and events related to violent extremism.
* Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity and vulgar language.
* Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items.
* Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflict, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic images are not shown.

If your video violates any of these, they will take the adverts away from it, so that you won’t make money. If you persist in violating their guidelines, they’ll pull your channel.

Using their customary ribald humour, Dore and his producers talk about how the ban on sexually suggestive material means that nearly every pop video would be banned, and how they violated the ban on the use of vulgar language themselves. As for the use of controlled substances, they make the point of asking if this includes the beer adverts that have appeared alongside their videos. What if they don’t want the beer commercials next to their material? As for war and violence, they make the point that this should affect General Electrics, which makes its money as a ‘war profiteer’. Will they still be allowed to post? And the final clause effectively forbids the news. Just as the guidelines on violence also automatically mean that 90 per cent of the content on YouTube is banned because it contains violence or people harming themselves, like in all the blooper or ‘fails’ videos.

The Young Turks has already suffered, as 10 per cent of their videos has been judged unsuitable for advertising and so demonetised. As they’ve posted up 30,000 videos, this is a significant loss. Kulinski has suffered the same over at Secular Talk. He found a fifth of his material had been retrospectively judged unsuitable. He stated in his video on the subject that he was up to 3 AM the previous night going through the videos one by one to appeal against the ban.
His show also has the problem in that he has the libertarian belief that all drugs should be legalised and taxed, and says so, though he does not recommend breaking the law. He’s also adamant that despite what YouTube says, they won’t stop him from posting controversial material, or make him post bland statements about how wonderful the world is.

Kulinski makes the point that YouTube tried something like this twice before, and each time had to back down, as people will simply go elsewhere to post their material. Dore states here that it looks like YouTube are trying to censor anything that might upset their advertisers. He drily observes that it’s not ‘YouTube’ but ‘TheirTube’. He and his team then demand that it should ‘OurTube’.

And here’s Secular Talk on the issue.

I’m posting this here, because some of the bloggers I’ve reposted over here have had trouble with what looks very much like censorship. Tom Pride had a couple of his pieces censored, or a threat to close down his blog, because he was posting ‘adult material’. He was, but only in the sense that politics is a serious, adult matter. He also uses the occasional coarse language and earthy wit to satirise some of the politicos, who really deserve it, like David Cameron. This looked very much like political censorship, as it came when the Tories were launching their campaign to clean up cyberspace to stop it containing anything that was a menace to children. Policing the internet to protect children from paedophiles is a good idea, and unfortunately all too necessary. But this looked very much like using the threat of paedophilia and internet pornography to censor anything that Cameron and the rest of the Tories don’t like.

So we have to be careful. YouTube, it seems, are now trying the same trick. My guess is that Kulinski’s right, and the ban’s unenforceable. It’s the nature of the internet that if you try to shut something down, it’ll simply go elsewhere. This could lead to the company taking a serious hit itself from a fall in business as people move away from it. But it won’t be before a lot of Vlogs and programmes are hurt as part of this campaign to censor and intimidate posters.

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