I’ve been a YouTube Red subscriber for years now. Ad-free videos, YouTube original content (which were pretty lame, to be honest), YouTube Music, and so on. It cost a little something each month, but in exchange, I had a wealth of information and entertainment in front of me. I could learn about sports, a diverse range of political ideas, woodworking tips, sermons, product reviews, marksmanship concepts, apologetics, concerts, cooking and more. YouTube has been established as the dominant medium of informational video on the Internet. My $9.99 a month was given in exchange for a world of uninterrupted content.
But that world is just not worth it any longer. YouTube has been constricting certain viewpoints that don’t march in lockstep with the social engineers of Google. This goes for thoughtful channels such as PragerU, who is actually suing YouTube for censorship beyond the contractual agreement they had entered into. This goes for other channels I have enjoyed like Apologia, which is actively spreading the gospel and opposing societal problems such abortion and the distortion of biblical marriage, have received strikes against them for thinking and speaking in ways that are not in complete agreement with Google. To be clear, I am not looking for a service that checks all of my boxes. I am looking for a service that isn’t actively unchecking them.
Not that long ago, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and others were actively protesting the end of Net Neutrality. They had claimed that this Neutrality ending would result in unfair data speeds and in people being censored by those evil ISP’s. But now YouTube is demonetizing their content creators, removing their videos without recourse, and shutting down channels that they disagree with, regardless of the number of fans of those channels. They are the ones censoring their own partners. And I have heard from people who I follow on both Twitter and Facebook who say that the companies are refusing to allow them to advertise on their networks because they disagree with their stance in one way or another.
I don’t know what else to call this, but hypocrisy.
So what am I to do? I have all these DIY honey-do projects lined up and YouTube has been my main source of inspiration to learn the concepts. And I have learned other skills by watching people do them. Should I call a government bureaucrat and demand that they step in?
Only if I want to be a hypocrite myself.
You see, I want to be consistent. I don’t want the government to force someone to bake a cake in celebration of an event that they disagree with. I don’t want the government to force someone to affirm a behavior that repulses them. I don’t believe that a Hilal deli should be forced to serve pork products either. And I don’t believe government should be asked to force YouTube to accept any video outside their existing contracts. If I were to ask government to get involved in determining what First Amendment rights YouTube has, I would be ceding too much power to a government comprised of extremely polarized viewpoints.
I won’t ask any member of government to advocate for the channels I enjoy. What I will do is voice my displeasure at the constriction of free speech by cancelling the membership that had once benefited my experience with YouTube. This doesn’t mean I can’t watch YouTube videos. It does mean that I would rather deal with interruptions, advertisements, loss of services, and other annoyances than offer up my monthly tribute to the virtual monopoly of video on the Internet.