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.