Famed YouTubers Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson — better known as “Diamond” and “Silk” and early supporters of Donald Trump -- tweeted their dismay on Thursday and accused YouTube of “censorship.” They accused the online video giant, which is owned by even bigger Google, of violating their First Amendment rights by demonetizing a reported 95 percent of the their videos.
On Thursday, they tweeted “YouTube stopped over 95% percent of our videos from being monetized, stating: ‘It's Not Suitable For All Advertisers’" Moreover, they believe that they were targeted because of their support for President Trump. They tweeted later: ”Wonder if @YouTube @TeamYouTube stopped the monetization of our videos because we are loyal supporters of the president of the United States. Hummmm.”
Diamond and Silk added, “Sounds like Censorship to us, which is a Violation of our First Amendment. A Bias Method used to Silence our Conservative Voices.”
Noting their complaint, YouTube responded with a tweet, saying: “We introduced new $ icons to give you an easier way to appeal but revenue earned didn't change with this update.” The missive did not address the pro-Trump duo’s complaint that their videos were demonetized.
Diamond and Silk met with Commerce Department officials, also on Thursday, in Washington DC to discuss how to improve their business. Commerce tweeted a photo of their visit, noting that they had met with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to “discuss how to grow their business and build their brand.” However, the tweet and photo were later deleted by the Commerce Department.
We introduced new $ icons to give you an easier way to appeal but revenue earned didn't change w/ this update: https://t.co/PJolm1KmBk— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) August 10, 2017
Spero News had a similar experience this week with one of its videos, which was also demonetized by YouTube. A Spero News video that covered an exchange between Ann Coulter and Ana Kasparian at the Politicon in Los Angeles last month received nearly 23,000 views but was demonetized by YouTube with the explanation that is “not suitable for all advertisers.” This means that no advertising was allowed on the video, thus eliminating income for the Spero News’ channel on YouTube. However, a video of the same event posted by The Young Turks, an online leftist outlet that features Kasparian, still had advertisers and was thus generating income.
Here follows Spero News' coverage of the Ann Coulter debate with Ana Kasparian:
Yet another outlet that has been similarly penalized by YouTube is Paul Joseph Watson of Prison Planet. He tweeted on Thursday "Just checked, YouTube has de-monetized every single video I've ever made about Islam."
Just checked, YouTube has de-monetized every single video I've ever made about Islam.— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) August 10, 2017
Watson later tweeted that the de-monetization of conservative websites came just a week after YouTube hired the Anti-Defamation League to monitor videos.
Mass flagging/de-monetization of pro-Trump YouTube accounts happens 1 week after YouTube hired ADL to police speech. https://t.co/jOOOKkTFdH— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) August 10, 2017
Earlier this year, Spero News reported that former ESPN sportcaster Jason Whitlock spoke to Tucker Carlson on Fox News about the transformation of sports broadcasting. Noting the media focus on NFL player Colin Kaepernick, Whitlock theorized that traditional media has adopted the ideology and values of Silicon Valley and San Franciso, which does not tolerate conservative ideas, which was the case with New York-based media.