PewDiePie Supposedly Shadowbanned by YouTube, Fans Say Hundreds of Videos Didn’t Appear in Search Results
Google-owned YouTube recently shadowbanned PewDiePie, according to his fans. If true, it would represent the latest act of censorship by a Big Tech company.
PewDiePie, for those who are unfamiliar, hosts YouTube’s second-largest channel. He has accumulated over 107 million subscribers in his ten years on the platform. He is extraordinarily popular but also receives flak from some quarters because he can be politically incorrect at times.
YouTube addressed the allegation that they shadowbanned PewDiePie in a tweet today:
YouTube doesn't shadowban channels. It’s possible the video was flagged by our systems as potentially violative & needs to be reviewed first before it shows up in search, etc. Note that reviews are taking longer since we have limited teams due to COVID-19: https://t.co/f25cOgmwRV
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) October 22, 2020
The denial naturally did not convince PewDiePie’s fans, many of whom said that they weren’t receiving notifications of his new videos and couldn’t find hundreds of previous videos after using the search function:
— KEEM ???? (@KEEMSTAR) October 22, 2020
The issue seemed to be resolved as of Friday. Still, how many times do we have to go through this with Big Tech platforms like YouTube and Twitter and Facebook? The cycle is utterly predictable: massive account shadowbanned or suspended, platform denies any blatant censorship, account privileges restored.
PewDiePie’s real name is Felix Kjellberg. Big League Politics last posted about him when he announced a $50,000 donation to the anti-free speech Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and then again when he rescinded it:
“Usually when I pick a charity, I take my time, I find a charity that I’m really excited about and actually passionate to donate to, so when I uploaded the video talking about the charity, it was very brief, and people could tell something was off,” PewDiePie explained while laughing.
“To be fair, I saw it as an opportunity to put an end to these alt-right claims that have been thrown against me. It wasn’t to try and clear my name or save grace. If it was, I would have done it years ago, but after the Christchurch tragedy, I felt a responsibility to do something about it because it’s no longer just about me. It affected other people in a way, and I’m not okay with that,” PewDiePie said explaining his motives.
PewDiePie said that he announced the ADL donation with noble intentions, but the backlash from his fans helped him to see the error of his ways.
“I’ve struggled to figure out how to do that, but this was not the right way to go about it,” PewDiePie said. “I knew it wasn’t perfect, but I also didn’t know a lot of things that surfaced throughout this whole thing about the charity that doesn’t fit at all, so I understand why people had concerns about it, and these are things that I would have known myself if I had just taken my time.”