During an appearance on the H3 podcast, the famous YouTuber revealed a personal conversation he had with a contact in Walmart advertising who said they do not care about big tech censorship, but are looking forward to the lower advertising rates they expect to pay as a result.
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter have all faced some extent of an advertiser boycott, with the blame levied on users who are deemed not to be “advertiser friendly.”
This has been YouTube’s excuse to demonetize popular right wing channels, and likely went into consideration for Twitter when they summarily banned Infowars, and Facebook and Instagram last week when they went a step further and said they would ban any user who so much as posted a link to Infowars video content or Alex Jones.
Boogie2988, a YouTube streamer who became famous for his parody videos, video game live streams, and for chronicling his weight loss journey, offered a nuanced take during the podcast.
“I know a lot of people that work at Walmart,” Boogie said on the podcast, “And I know people that work in advertising at Walmart, and somebody from Walmart, and I won’t say which person specifically, said to me ‘We don’t really care about any of that censorship crap, we don’t really care about any of the drama.'”
He continued, quoting his conversation with an anonymous Walmart advertising employee, “‘We care about lowering our bids, so we’re going to do a six months or one year hiatus, and when we come back, we’re going to have much lower bids.'”
Was watching clips from @Boogie2988's appearance on the @h3h3productions podcast and I think what he said about advertisers leveraging censorship disputes to lower their rates is really important to hear. Full clip: https://t.co/BGoqw6Ws0y pic.twitter.com/3KjtAfhkpO
— Justin Whang 🐙 (@JustinWhang) May 5, 2019
If true, it would seem the exodus of large advertisers from big tech platforms, and the sacrifice of many large content creators that followed, may be driven almost entirely by finance.
If YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are perceived as dangerous places to advertise, the cost of doing so on the platforms would naturally decrease exponentially.
As Twitter user Justin Whang wrote succinctly, “Advertisers played YouTube like a fiddle.”
Facebook Will Create “Oversight Board” For Users to Appeal Censorship Decisions
A smidgen of accountability.
Facebook is planning on rolling out an “oversight board” to which users of the platform can appeal the censorship of content.
“Over the next few weeks, our nearly 3 billion users will have access to an independent review of difficult content decisions,” announced the company in a Thursday blog post.
Oversight Board to Start Hearing Cases https://t.co/AAaa2nPmsF
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) October 22, 2020
Facebook is describing the oversight board as a “global body of experts separate from Facebook that will make independent and binding decisions on the cases they choose to hear.” Facebook users will presumably have the option to appeal incidences of censorship to Facebook’s oversight board when they have exhausted use of Facebook’s existing censorship appeal process. However, the existing process is only available on a seemingly arbitrary basis, and it’s probably not unlikely that those who already aren’t in Facebook’s good graces won’t be allowed the opportunity to appeal to the oversight board.
The overseers are employed and selected by Facebook itself, casting serious doubt as to whether they’re genuinely impartial arbiters of social media censorship.
It’s hard to tell if this is a step in the right direction or merely a ruse for the monopoly to counter accusations that its arbitrary censorship process is undemocratic and authoritarian. In predictable fashion, the powerful Oversight Board is staffed almost exclusively with Soros-linked neoliberal progressives, some of whom have already advocated for a European understanding of “free speech” as opposed to an American one.
With great power comes great responsibility, and Facebook seems content to accept the former without the latter. It simply isn’t their place to declare what is permissible political speech.
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