YouTube Doubles Down on Silencing Controversial Creator

( – The issue of media censorship is once again rearing its head in the public sphere. YouTube’s recent demonetization of British national Russell Brand appears to be blurring the lines between what is and is not considered to be suppression of free speech.

On one hand, Brand’s content on the platform remains readily available and he can continue to post freely. On the other, his ability to make a living for himself there was instantly restricted. Were the same yardstick of accountability applied to YouTube’s CEO, then Neal Mohan could feasibly stop receiving paychecks based on nothing more than accusations.

According to Mohan, his platform’s terms of service allow the company to shut down revenue streams for creators in response to their “off-platform behavior.” The CEO further said that YouTube reserves the right to suspend “monetization” if “off-platform news” arises about a creator “that could be” harmful “to the broader” community.

Critics of YouTube’s move against the host have argued against the action from a number of angles. The assault allegations against Brand could be fabricated, they say. He has not yet been charged and nothing has been proven. Although the star does not hold an American passport, his hosting platform is based in the United States and stateside justice says an individual is innocent until proven guilty.

Brand’s supporters also point out that his undoing appears to have been well-planned and coordinated. Accusations did not simply show up in one paper on a single day. The Sunday Times, Channel 4 Dispatches and The Times took part in what they said was a joint investigation of the personality and released what many would consider to be a barrage of anti-Brand content simultaneously.

Brand’s story is paralleled by previous attempts at censorship by social media giants. A judge recently determined that the Biden administration had been colluding with certain platforms in an effort to stifle free speech. YouTube was among those named.

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