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A YouTube Termination: Banned By The Google Profit Machine

It seems that Google has decided to terminate the main YouTube channel for An Sionnach Fionn despite the existence of a three month suspension issued back in January for an unspecified “first strike” violation of the platform’s opaque community guidelines. There was no notification of a permanent ban being imposed and numerous attempts to contact Google directly have proved futile. So I still don’t know the precise reasons why the ASF channel was temporarily suspended in the first place nor why that time-limited punishment has been escalated without explanation to a complete denial of service (beyond the “coincidence” that a number of complaints were seemingly made against An Sionnach Fionn on several different internet platforms at the start of the year).

Anyone who visited or subscribed to ASF on YouTube can testify that the videos posted on the Google platform were largely devoted to current or historical news events, illustrating and expanding on written articles for the main website, and were copyright-free or fell under the fair use clause. As an indicator of their uncontentious nature and purpose, some of the channel’s videos were licensed by An Sionnach Fionn to mainstream press companies in Europe, notably the media conglomerate Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland in Germany. Which means that ASF has been banned by YouTube for video content acquired and shown by private and public service broadcasters in several territories.

Perhaps Google (and its parent company Alphabet) doesn’t appreciate independent websites that examine the alt-right’s coordinated use of YouTube to disseminate and amplify reactionary propaganda and far-right misinformation around the world? The technology giant has shown that it has no qualms about hosting content on its video platform from a wide range of ethno-supremacist and white-nationalist figures and supporters. Including individuals who have used YouTube to raise their public profile, to gain online celebrity and fame, and who are now entering the mainstream media and even electoral politics. So with all due respect to its employees, fuck Google and its hate-profiteering and fascist-enabling algorithms. It can remain the internet home of the alt-right.

29 comments on “A YouTube Termination: Banned By The Google Profit Machine

  1. Jim McGettigan

    I wonder who was making the complaints and about what?

    • At the time I thought it might be alt-right types because I was hitting the Irish scene pretty hard. The Identitarian crowd. Maybe one or two just clicking complaint buttons. I’ve also had loyalists doing a pile-on before.

      Truth is, I don’t know. Could just be one irate person going the extra mile to complain.

      Not a biggie, as I’m focused here. But frustrating that one can’t really appeal these things or get to the bottom of what is going on.

      • Shabby treatment of you ASF by them, to put it mildly. Had similar issues with twitter years back.

        • I’ve lost pretty badly with Facebook and had to start all over again twice so far. Twitter has been mostly ok. YouTube has always been bothersome.

          WordPress is just so user/customer friendly by comparison. A much nicer experience.

          • Completely agree, WordPress is just sounder. The others (for me twitter and FB though never used YouTube) are like dealing with some highly combustible and unpredictable substance. May be okay, but can’t be guaranteed and tends to go up at the worst possible moment. In the end I just gave up using FB and twitter for the site. There’s a feed but it’s automatic and that’s it. I’ve not checked in in years.

  2. Jim McGettigan

    I am on YouTube for a wide variety of topics from history to maintaining equipment and periodically people are confused about why their channel has been restricted or suspended without any explanations.

    • Yep, it’s a mess. I tried appealing the original suspension, or at least to get to the bottom of the reason(s) behind it, but I was met with a blank wall of auto-replies and runarounds.

      Then a permanent termination kicked in with no notice. Again, I tried to query that and got nowhere.

      I’ve seen many YouTubers describe their frustrations with similar situations but I now understand the helplessness of it all. Unless you are a YouTube superstar – even a moderate one – you have no way of gaining a fair hearing. And the truly big figures, the ones laughing at suicide or using racist epithets, are treated with kid gloves because they bring in lots of eyeballs for the Google profiteers.

      I couldn’t imagine going to all that effort again of uploading content and interacting with subscribers, knowing that an axe was hanging over my head the whole time.

      Thank god for WordPress. A great non-judgemental and hands-off service. Though it’s only a matter of time before someone turns its complaint guns on it. Hopefully it will stand up to any media scrutiny and fake outrage.

  3. Jim McGettigan

    When I searched YouTube I found this:

    • Unfortunately that’s a backup channel under a different account name that I activated when the main channel was suspended. I’m wary now of falling back on that because it could go the same way as the main one and I’d have no idea why.

      The primary YouTube channel and account is gone along with all the video content. Even the licence stuff which was broadcast on mainstream TV in Germany, Austria, etc.

      WordPress has its own video library for a hefty fee which I might purchase. The problem is you are then locked out of the YouTube ecosystem which brought a fair amount of traffic and publicity to the main website.
      Not to mention the attention of journalists and news agencies.

      I have Dailymotion and Vimeo accounts too but the former at least is a dire service.

  4. That’s the only video I see as well

    • Yep, just the backup channel activated after the suspension of the primary YouTube account and channel. Which has now been terminated.

      I don’t really fancy starting all over again on that platform, adding content and building relationships with subscribers to have it disappear in a blink of an eye because YouTube decided it didn’t like the content.

      Especially when I see literal feckin’ fascists thriving on YouTube with followers in the hundreds of thousands.

      Or feckless wannabe celebrities warping the minds and attitudes of young people.

      The hypocrisy and double standards of it all is frustrating.

      • It’s absolutely ridiculous how many awful things are allowed. It’s infuriating to see those thrive while good channels are removed. I’m sorry that happened to you.
        I wouldn’t bother starting over – once they remove you, they’re quick to do the same to your backups and reboots.

        • Yeah, that’s what I think. Why go to the effort? Unless you purchase a G Suite account and associated YouTube account which gives you slightly more leeway. I have G Suite but the freebie option.

          • I keep waiting for them to do the same to me and all I have up there is music. They’ve been deleting accounts for just that more and more, calling videos of performances copyright infringement. But hate speech that brings YouTube a lot of hits and money can stay of course. (gross)

            • Yeah, that’s a weird one because the copyright holders can monetize your vids if you use their music which seems a fair trade off. Why delete?

              Now, of course, you have these third party companies hired to simply claim everything in sight to kill rivals and smother the ecosystem to the advantage of corporate players on YouTube.

  5. Just a reminder of how big corporate interests control the information agenda.

    Data mining, click bait, fake news,censorship, surveillance, it’s all there.

    Who am I, who are you, and why are you allowed to exist?

  6. ar an sliabh

    Well, if you weren’t actually examining issues and appropriately dissecting cause and effect, and instead just preached hate against the other viewpoint, you would have been alright. Nobody wants a real discussion about what is going on, that could lead to a consensus and a way forward. What the media pushers want is hate and outrage, The more fanatical fools bash each others heads in,the more adverts are sold, the more money is made. Google exploits its employees so they don’t like (real) socialists either. The ones that proclaim they are, but then do nothing for the massive labour abuses, those are fine, no threat to the bottom line. The U.S. gazillionaires want to rule the world, feudal style. They are getting there.

    • Yep. I’ve come to the conclusion that Alphabet/Google are hate-profiteers, since that is what the company permits on its YouTube platform. As I stated in posts here, I’m not a front-of-camera person and I prefer the written word for my own ramblings. Maybe I should have been ranting against the inequities of the system, pulling in views and profits for YouTube and then it would have been happy?

      I mean, it’s quite happy to host the most egregious stuff, to ban that when the press causes a fuss, but to leave the guys and gals who pull in the revenue still there, still churning out crap not much different from what was removed.

      • My take on why they tolerate hate groups while others get shut down.

        I don’t think it’s profit or ideological at all. I believe it’s fear of violent attacks and personal safety.

        I believe they are afraid that if they shut down too many alt-righters that there WILL be violent attacks on their offices or workers.

        I have worked for elections departments, Medicare, and others. One thing we were always told about angry callers was “They don’t know where you are located. They don’t know where you live.” In some cases they might not even know what state we are located in. In one case our office didn’t even have a front address. You could either exit into an underground car garage, that washstand with The County Sheriff’s forensics, or pass through some skyways until you came out near a light rail station in front of a public/private convention center.. Our windows were tinted so you could see out but not in, and the relationship between the portion of a building we were located and both non-emergency ways of entering or leaving was harder to intuit than The Secret Annex Anne Frank and her family stayed in from the Dutch street it was on.

        And given the kind of threats you heard….it was maybe one call in 15,000 but with an office that took over 1000 calls on some days…..it was kind of nice.

        Google’s offices are comparatively easy to find. Many of their people are fairly visible at public events.

        And many members of the alt right incite people in other cities or states.

        Since you are in Europe. Since there have been no major cases of Irish Republican violence in North American since early post-bellum times-and most it actually occurred in Canada as they still recognize The Crown . Since you don’t come across as a man who would incite others to violence, across borders. My guess, is that you are considered an extremely low calculated risk for violence against their buildings and employees.

        Some of the people they tolerate, I think they are truly afraid to piss off. It’s even possible some groups who wanted you gone are among those they are afraid to anger.

        Increasingly neo-confederate leaning portions of alt-right view Unionists as their allies. And American racist groups have a long history of viewing Irish causes, Irish American Labor unionists, and even the belief that the UK had wronged Ireland in any way, as treanous towards their idea of “white unity”. And that view is seeing some revival.

  7. I am following this closely, I would be reticent to blame the Alt Right, there is a crack down led both by Whitehall and the goons in Harcourt St. Nil illegitimum corumbundum.

    • Oh, it could be that too. Some UK government agency contacting YouTube and requesting the removal of channels x, y and z for supposed reasons x, y and z. Doubt it though. ASF is very much small fry and the ASF YouTube channel was more of a video library than an active platform.

      Hey, it could just be someone hitting complaint buttons all over the shop for the lolz. It happens.

      • I wouldn’t blame the Alt Right, they believe in free speech even if it is against them. ASF a small thorn? Become a big one.

        • Yes, loads of those so called alt righters have had the same thing happen to them so it’s wrong to say Google has a bias for them. Really, it’s independent media that’s been targeted for obvious enough reasons. Money talks. Sure didn’t the EU just vote in measures that will see more and more of this type of thing happening.

        • Free speech is one area where the alt-right isn’t terribly consistent either way

  8. Did they ever find out who grassed up A Tangled Web that time? I know David Vance was a bit more paranoid than usual afterwards.

  9. Simply put, Google etc etc are are in partnership with prominent western govts such as the States and britland. Thus they will readily remove sites that are seen to oppose them and will also permit sites and individuals that appear to be ‘against the establishment’ to remain such as their asset ‘Tommy Robinson’. They like the peasants hating each other don’t ye know.

    • Jim McGettigan

      Some scholarly thoughts on Google and Facebook by Noam Chomsky

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