Indy Neidell's "WWII In Real Time" Facing Backlash From YouTube

May 2018
856
Michigan

Indy had to post the following video to strike back at the YouTube politbureau shutting down advertising money. I've seen this happen before, but usually with obvious political commentators.

While I emphatically support free speech and would hope that Tech Giants do so as well, I can at least see why some idiot Communist or neo-Nazi gets their YouTube channel demonetized (although I can't think of any lefty channels who have been demonetized). Indy Neidell's WWII channel is hardly controversial, and Indy's explanation of YouTube's justification is pretty weak: they don't want people advertising on channels that talk about war?

Indy's video points out the massive exercise in stupidity YouTube is engaged in: Apparently, educational history channels on YouTube are demonetized, but stupid cat videos aren't?
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,459
South of the barcodes
Youtube's algorithms tend to pick up on hot button words. Like Nazi!

Unfortunately its not a very smart system and they dont have enough humans with judgement to check things until a creator has appealed the decision.

Patreons starting down the same process.
 
Feb 2019
846
Serbia
At this point YouTube is infamous for making bad algorithms and having ridiculous policies. In 2017 I remember that many people made videos complaining about demonetisation and this censorship. The algorithm was first given to an experimental bot that was made to ''learn by itself'' so to speak, it would go alone and do random things, nominally improving based on feedback and complaints. Naturally, this was horrible and many videos would be demonetised at random, even when doing nothing wrong. Now it's better than before but it's still terrible. YouTube favours ''popular'' channels and corporations. By popular I mean a very distinct brand of a channel that appeals to a certain audience, these channels are usually gaming channels and vloggers but with a very distinct... ''style''.

This started in 2017 when PewDiePie, the biggest YouTuber made a racist joke mocking Keemstar, another YouTuber that was an item of mockery in 2016/17. The joke backfired and YouTube was thrown into a crisis, fearing what would happen to their reputation they wanted to sanction this. PewDiePie followed this up by accidentally saying the N-word on a livestream, which lead YouTube to implement the demonetisation system as a measure to differentiate between what is ''advertiser-friendly'' and what isn't. This algorithm was at first an experimental bot, as mentioned above and eventually evolved into what it is today.

Channels with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, an example being Mumkey Jones, were deleted completely. Due to the algorithm working by picking words and terms that are even slightly ''not advertiser-friendly'' such as war, politics, violence, anything really, pretty much every historical channel is at stake. Recently DeroVolk, a channel that uploaded historical music, anthems and marches for educational purposes was also deleted. He got into trouble in the past for posting music from Nazi Germany and the USSR (Even when the songs in question had no controversial lyrics or symbolism, being made in Germany was all that was needed for YouTube to label it bad.), though he himself was apolitical. He had over 100k subscribers when I last checked his channel. He is just one example, there were other channels that were victims of this. YouTube announced a new policy against ''hate-speech'' recently so we can guess what happens next.

There were some channels that uploaded historical music and were political, though their actual content was usually not necessarily controversial.

Much of this is written from my memory of what was happening, this is also very brief and there is much more detail to the background of YouTube's algorithms. In any case they are deeply flawed and YouTube is becoming more and more restrictive, it's owned by people who evidently don't know what they're doing and are vastly out of touch with their own platform, so I don't have high hopes for it.
 
Jul 2019
592
New Jersey
I'm pretty sure there have been gamers who have been demonetized for role playing as the south in Civil War games. I don't follow that community, but I've read such things numerous times.
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,846
At present SD, USA

Indy had to post the following video to strike back at the YouTube politbureau shutting down advertising money. I've seen this happen before, but usually with obvious political commentators.

While I emphatically support free speech and would hope that Tech Giants do so as well, I can at least see why some idiot Communist or neo-Nazi gets their YouTube channel demonetized (although I can't think of any lefty channels who have been demonetized). Indy Neidell's WWII channel is hardly controversial, and Indy's explanation of YouTube's justification is pretty weak: they don't want people advertising on channels that talk about war?

Indy's video points out the massive exercise in stupidity YouTube is engaged in: Apparently, educational history channels on YouTube are demonetized, but stupid cat videos aren't?
I really don't think it's so much about the history presentation as it is the perception of politics. And YouTube's censors don't help matters. There are plenty of Neo-Nazi groups out there... so if something like a history channel on WW2 is going to run into a problem there. As you can't present the history of WW2 without some mention of Hitler and the Nazis, which the system that automates the monitoring of YouTube content is likely to be easily tricked into thinking something is more controversial than it in fact is. For the system reads "Nazi" and goes... omigod a Nazi! Flag! Flag! Flag! Not realizing that the content is discussing history and not promoting Nazism.

The present team that Indy is working with didn't make things better by then also incorporating contemporary political slogans and lines into a couple of their episode titles. Now the episodes in question don't include any sort of defense of Nazism or any reference to the contemporary politics. But they've still used contemporary slogans and that is bound to also get flagged as something political and controversial, not historical.