More and more alternative media sites are basing content via YouTube to give their audience a visual perspective of the world around them without the worry of censorship. Mainstream media have been doing the same since the invention of television but with heavily controlled content. For alternative media, YouTube is essentially the only outlet that can access a mass audience, and YouTube acknowledges this under the banner real depictions of graphic or violent content.
“Increasingly, YouTube is becoming an outlet for citizen journalists, documentarians and other users to publish accounts of what is happening in their daily lives. It is inevitable that some of these videos will contain content that is violent or graphic in nature…”
YouTube have a strict policy about what can and cannot be published. Sensitive material such as how to make a bomb, or the promotion of hard drug use are considered inappropriate, and once discovered, will be promptly removed. But what happens when an alternative media site comes across validated information caught on camera, which the mainstream will otherwise refuse to publish?
YouTube have introduced a policy which stops the ability to earn money when certain content is published.
The “advertiser-friendly content” boundary is crossed when sexually suggestive content is prescribed to, or violent extremism, drug use, or inappropriate language is promoted. Now they have extended this to:
“Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown.”
“If any of the above describes any portion of your video, then it may not be approved for monetization. In cases where monetization is approved, your video may not be eligible for all of the ad formats we offer. YouTube reserves the right to not monetize a video, as well as suspend monetization feature on channels who repeatedly submit videos that violate our policies.”
YouTube has become the portal for anyone wanting to dig deeper, and to get varying perspectives at a few clicks of the finger. YouTube has increasingly become the new source of seeking visual alternative media. From Alex Jones to StormCloudsGathering, to Anonymous – who can forget WikiLeaks and their Collateral Murder that went viral? The otherwise ignored content has been put on display for our perusal and discussion.
The WikiLeaks/Manning exposé Collateral Murder
There are other interesting rules about content, one including “Hate Speech.” According to this policy, every clip involving the recent Donald Trump agenda on Muslims should be banned. “[It is] not okay to post malicious hateful comments about a group of people solely based on their race.” Yet, there they are, on every corner of YouTube.
Recently, StormCloudsGathering discovered that the full time job of presenting undisclosed facts has become a difficult and almost impossible task. Most altmedia sites rely on adverts as a monetary substitute so they can dedicate their lives fulltime to present us the truth we otherwise would not get without the concern for censorship. The funds received from adverts placed on the YouTube channel are quite often small and hardly a sustainable income, but the importance of investigating and presenting the alternative to mainstream is vital for a true democracy.
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