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Sunday, July 28, 2019
A Directory of Politically Incorrect, Algorithmically Stifled Vloggers By Edward Ring
Anyone who doesn’t believe the Right is being suppressed systematically by the communications monopolies of Big Tech either is not paying attention, is hopelessly biased, or is thoroughly brainwashed.
The process of suppression takes many forms. It isn’t merely suppression of conservative viewpoints on the major social media platforms (Google, Facebook, Twitter), but suppression of the related apps (Apple, Amazon), exclusion from the principal funding sites (Patreon, Kickstarter, GoFundMe), exclusion from the major online payment processors (PayPal, Stripe), and in some cases even access denial by the internet service providers (AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon).
In most cases, suppression has not been total. One of the first to be banished, Alex Jones, still has his “Infowars” website; one of the more recent casualties also survives online as a stand alone, the relaunched Milo Yiannopoulos’s “Dangerous” website. But in the monopolistic communications infrastructure of social media platforms, apps and funding sites, they don’t exist. If you don’t know where to look for these orphaned websites, you won’t find them.
Suppression of conservative content began in earnest after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, intensified further in the months immediately preceding the 2018 midterms, and further still with the wave of purges that took place this spring. This story has been told again and again, a very recent example would be testimony by Dennis Prager before the U.S. Senate on July 16.
Finding the Vloggers Who Have Been Suppressed It is impossible to track every conservative who has been suppressed online. For every major figure who is attacked, there are hundreds of minor figures who also have been attacked by the leftist complaint warriors and quietly deboosted, demonetized, shadowbanned, or just plain eliminated.
Here then, is a list of conservative YouTube vloggers who are still active on that platform. If you regularly view one of these channels, you will probably still see them recommended. But otherwise, even if you view similar content, it is unlikely they will appear as “recommended videos,” or if they do appear, fewer of them will appear, and those few will appear less often. Instead you will be referred to mainstream conservative channels, starting with Fox News. This shift began in April 2019, and is specifically aimed at limiting exposure to these independent platforms.
It is important to note that some of the vloggers listed here actually do produce content most conservatives would consider objectionable. It is not possible to vet the entire body of work of every one of the individuals on this list. What is remarkable, however, is how in a fair online universe, some of these vloggers should never have come under attack. The diligent Tim Pool and the impeccable Dennis Prager come to mind.
There are many others for whom there is absolutely no case to be made for their suppression. But so what? What if some of this content is truly offensive and objectionable? Should it be suppressed?
One fledgling attempt to circumvent the biased online monopolies is the video platform BitChute. While the site has risen to an impressive worldwide Alexa ranking of 4,065 (the YouTube monopoly is ranked No. 2), it still has bugs and glitches. But BitChute’s community guidelines explicitly endorse freedom of expression, and at least so far, a commitment to unbiased policing of content. On the question of suppression, BitChute’s website says “The mere fact that an idea is disliked or thought to be incorrect does not justify its censorship.”
Standing on that principle, the ideal online media platform would treat all websites equally, allowing them to rise and fall based on viewer preference, or as the cliché aptly puts it, “in the marketplace of ideas.”
With all this in mind, and based on the admittedly nebulous principle that the enemy of your enemy is your friend, here is a list of the “reactionary right” vloggers as catalogued in a report published in Fall 2018 by the left-of-center organization Data and Society:
The Reactionary Right on YouTube according to Data and Society
Can the Online Conservative Presence Be Effectively Suppressed? Since the latest assault on internet free speech, many of these YouTube channels have seen their referral visits drop by 50 percent or more. But there remains a fluidity to the conservative presence online that may be impossible to suppress. First because many of these channels are so big that shutting them down would provoke an uproar, as happened this past May when YouTube used out of context remarks made by Carl Benjamin to temporarily delete his account. Benjamin, whose channel is called “Sargon of Akkad,” has nearly 1 million subscribers and has delivered nearly 300 million views.
Other channels are even bigger. The inimitable Paul Joseph Watson has delivered 400 million views on his YouTube channel; Ezra Levant’s Rebel Media has delivered over 450 million views; Joe Rogan’s channel has delivered well over 1 billion views.
Moreover, the traffic trends are dramatic. Jordan Peterson, whose informed but politically unwelcome candor on gender issues catapulted him to worldwide fame, had just over 90 million views when last reported in April, he’s now delivered over 110 million views.
If the conservative presence online is protected by dozens of too-big-to-squelch pundits with burgeoning audiences, it is also protected by thousands, if not tens of thousands of much smaller content producers who are perpetually researching and posting, producing a torrent of content that can’t possibly be contained. For every Joe Rogan or Paul Joseph Watson, there are a thousand lesser known but worthy conservative pundits such as Fleccas Talks, Conservative Resurgence, or Blue Collar Logic, diligently posting and building their audiences.
In some ways, the biggest advantage favoring online conservatives is the fact of their suppression. While some “conservative” or alt-Right content may indeed be objectionable, all of it is granted cachet by virtue of it being forbidden. And when so much of what conservatives post online is not only true, but in direct contradiction to what is being routinely spewed forth from the approved mainstream sources of news, it triggers feelings of betrayal in the hearts of fair minded, truth seeking liberals. They have their so-called red pill moment. They walk away.
The issue of internet censorship is only one significant fraction of the transformations heralded by digital technology and artificial intelligence. A troubling article in the Summer 2019 issue of American Affairs, “Algorithmic Governance and Political Legitimacy,” explores the ways in which algorithms could become even more faceless arbiters of misguided policies than the faceless bureaucrats of the last century.
The challenges facing society wrought by technology, and the leftist dominated monopolies that currently control technology, reach well beyond free speech. But despite the ongoing AI-enabled crackdown on free speech, the nature of the internet itself may yet defy containment. It may yet fulfill its original promise to deliver irrepressible truth and freedom to the people in America, and everywhere else in the world.