Somewhat earlier today I received one of those “Hey Lauren, you gotta look at this on YouTube!” emails. Prior to my recently writing What Google Needs to Do About Hate Speech, such a message was as likely to point at a particularly cute cat video or a lost episode of some 60s television series as anything else. Since that posting, however, these alerts are far more likely to direct me toward much more controversial materials.
Such was the case today. Because the YouTube racists, antisemites, and their various assorted lowlife minions are at war. They’re at war with YouTube, they’re at war with the Wall Street Journal. They’re ranting and raving and chalking up view counts on their YouTube live streams and uploads today that ordinary YouTube users would be thankful to accumulate over a number of years.
After spending some time this afternoon lifting up rotting logs to peer at the maggots infesting the seamy side of YouTube where these folks reside, here’s what’s apparently going on, as best as I can understand it right now.
The sordid gang of misfits and losers who create and support the worst of YouTube content — everybody from vile PewDiePie supporters to hardcore Nazis, are angry. They’re angry that anyone would dare to threaten the YouTube monetization streams that help support their continuing rivers of hate speech. Any moves by Google or outside entities that appear to disrupt their income stream, they characterize as efforts to “destroy the YouTube platform.”
Today’s ongoing tirade appears to have been triggered by claims that the Wall Street Journal “faked” the juxtaposition of specific major brand ads with racist videos, as part of the ongoing controversies regarding YouTube advertiser controls. It seems that the creators of these videos are claiming that the videos in question were not being monetized during the period under discussion, or otherwise couldn’t have appeared in the manner claimed by the WSJ.
This gets into a maze of twisty little passages very quickly, because when you start digging down into these ranting videos today, you quickly see how they are intertwined with gamer subcultures, right-wing “fake news” claims, pro-Trump propagandists, and other dark cults — as if the outright racism and antisemitism weren’t enough.
And this is where the true irony breaks through like a flashing neon sign. These sickos aren’t at all apologetic for their hate speech videos on YouTube, they’re simply upset when Google isn’t helping to fund them.
I’ve been very clear about this. I strongly feel that these videos should not be on YouTube at all, whether monetized or not.
For example, one of the videos being discussed today in this context involves the song “Alabama Nig—.” If you fill in the dashes and search for the result on YouTube, you’ll get many thousands of hits, all of them racist, none of which should be on YouTube in the first place.
Which all suggests that the arguments about major company ads on YouTube hate speech videos, and more broadly the issues of YouTube hate speech monetization, are indeed really just digging around the edges of the problem.
Hate speech has no place on YouTube. Period. Google’s Terms of Service for YouTube explicitly forbid racial, religious, and other forms of this garbage.
The sooner that Google seriously enforces their own YouTube terms, the sooner that we can start cleaning out this hateful rot. We’ve permitted this disease to grow for years on the Internet thanks to our “anything goes” attitude, contributing to a horrific rise in hate throughout our country, reaching all the way to the current occupant of the Oval Office and his cronies.
This must be the beginning of the end for hate speech on Youtube.