The ability of insurgent media companies to gain followers and generate income via social media platforms took another hit this week. The Epoch Times, a Washington-based newspaper offering counter-narratives to Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post, has found itself demonetized by YouTube. The change means they can no longer make money from videos they post on the world’s largest video platform.
“YouTube demonetized The Epoch Times and related accounts last week,” confirmed Epoch Times publisher Stephen Gregory. “This is the latest example of big tech suppression of free speech, a step on the road to communist-style censorship.”
A YouTube spokesperson asserted that the tech giant had demonetized the publication’s channel due to issues related to harmful or sensitive content. The spokesman cited unspecific violations related to YouTube “Community Guidelines.”
Some states have begun doing more than talk about regulating what many see as patently biased tech companies skirting laws to wield undue influence on policymakers and American politics in general.
In mid-January, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued civil investigative demands to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Web Services, and Apple. Paxton is seeking info on company policies and practices regarding content moderation that appears, among other things, to undercut competitors and manipulate and control discourse and public opinion and policymaking. Paxton initiated the actions of Texas following the coordinated tech takedown of Parler, a social media competitor to Twitter.