By Joe Wright
While mainstream media routinely uses shock imagery to induce fear over all manner of threats to America and its allies, some independent Internet journalists are being restricted by advertising policies which penalize them for countering the establishment view.
A disturbing trend seems to have emerged around March, 2015. On the 24th, long-time YouTube activist Luke Rudkowski from WeAreChange.org announced his suspicions that his YouTube Adsense account was targeted for an extreme downturn.
In the last few days we noticed our YouTube numbers take a massive down turn while the majority of our new videos and top videos have been demonetized with no explanation at all. We looked at our website and social media numbers and they were better than ever but for some reason – our YouTube channel took a massive hit.
WeAreChange as a fully independent news organization relies on the majority of its funding from the YouTube Google Adsense account, the ads that play before or along side the content that we provide. These ads have been taken away from the majority of our channel, some videos remain monetized but the ones generating the most hits and the new ones have been disabled with no option to change, reverse and challenge the decision.
Luke recounts further details in this video:
On March 29th, one of the leading websites on this specific issue, Antiwar.com, published an article entitled, “Don’t See Evil: Google’s Boycott Campaign Against War Photography and Alternative Media.” After offering some context for how Google has become an entrenched part of the suffocating blanket of “national security,” specifics are given about how it is actually Google policy to target those who have helped to expose war crimes and other atrocities:
On the morning of March 18, Eric Garris, founder and webmaster of the site, received a form email from Google AdSense informing him that all of Antiwar.com’s Google ads had been disabled. The reason given was that one of the site’s pages with ads on it displayed images that violated AdSense’s policy against “violent or disturbing content, including sites with gory text or images.”
Of course the images in question were not “snuff,” or anything intended for titillation whatsoever. They were the famous images of detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib US military prison in Iraq. Those images are important public information, especially for Americans. They are the previously secret documentation of horrific state violence inflicted in our name and funded by our tax dollars.
Rather than being a blip on the screen, or perhaps a glitch as Activist Post’s own Google issue was deemed to be, the pattern continues and may even be widening in scope.
WeAreChange put out a tweet on May 20th bringing attention to another of their videos that had been targeted.
IMPORTANT: Youtube has just demonetized our video that is going viral criticizing Hillary Clinton supporters…. http://t.co/8xdPpnqXpb
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) May 20, 2015
The latest site to be victimized by YouTube policy is the fantastic work of StormCloudsGathering, a channel that alternative media routinely features, and has grown to 465,000 subscribers and 45 million views. It should be a purely positive story of how one husband and wife team built a massive platform for anti-war activism and political analysis. It shows both the power that each of us can wield, as well as the power of the message itself which continues to grow exponentially. But apparently those with connections to the military surveillance complex feel extremely threatened. The story of StormCloudsGathering must be heard in this video, as it highlights an important human element behind our daily news feed.
It is a disappointing irony that the very people most opposed to violence are being crippled by policies which claim to be curbing violent imagery. It is important to note, however, that in the case of Antiwar.com and Activist Post, severe pressure from readers turned the tides abruptly. These developments serve as a reminder that we are our own best advocates and support network. If we are to continue bringing our message of peace, love and liberty, it will increasingly have to be done under our own terms and conditions.
You can read more from Joe Wright at ActivistPost.com