- On January 6, 2021, the United States Capitol was attacked by an angry mob of protesters, radicalized and inspired by misinformation on social media and YouTube.
- Twitter permanently banned Donald Trump’s personal and proxy accounts the day after the insurrection.
- YouTube waited days before removing a few videos from Donald Trump’s YouTube channel.
- YouTube refuses to ban Donald Trump’s channel, which is currently followed by 2.79 million subscribers.
- Unwilling to rein in lucrative channels, YouTube continues to host white supremacist videos and comments, even in the wake of the first Capitol insurrection in US history.
White Supremacy Still a Problem on YouTube
Despite historical violence and an attempt to overthrow the US government, YouTube continues to host white supremacist content. It’s not difficult to find, and the lucrative, automated process of brainwashing and radicalizing users still seems to exist.
A popular YouTube channel (which I refuse to link to), AlexWhiteInventions, contends that white men invented pretty much everything of value. It’s the basis of his entire YouTube channel and spans multiple, lengthy videos:
“Over 90% of the technology you use today is from white inventors”
Beyond this patently false statement, backed up with no data, the videos are long, racist tirades touting fake white accomplishments while denigrating other ethnicities and cultures. Containing both hate and misinformation, the videos violate all of the strictest YouTube moderation criteria, but they’ve been up for over a decade.
YouTube’s reckless and haphazard moderation bans videos from civil rights groups while leaving white supremacist content unscathed for over a decade. A group of black YouTubers is also suing the company over aggressive content moderation. The company appears to have a severe problem with moderation. Unfortunately, they’ve taken it upon themselves to monopolize the world’s video content, with only token gestures to rein in dangerous agitators.
Gavin McInnes, founder of the Proud Boys, who were part of the insurrection, is also a fixture on YouTube. The San Bruno based company deleted McInnes’ account; however, his proxies still carry on his Western Chauvinist message.
There are hundreds of videos with Gavin McInnes on YouTube. Given the view counts across myriad videos, YouTube still makes millions off of McInnes. The Southern Poverty Law Center considers Gavin and his organization to be a white supremacist hate group. YouTube still profits from his celebrity status, with hundreds of fully monetized Gavin McInnes hate videos.
Just today, an associate forwarded me a screenshot showing McInnes with a fresh video on YouTube, spreading misinformation and shifting the blame for unprecedented violence. McInnes’ proxy posted the video over a week ago, and it’s still available. The video’s message is a feeble attempt to shift blame for the insurrection onto others; however, the group McInnes founded was instrumental to the raid. The video espouses misinformation to defend a violent hate group, violating YouTube rules, yet continues to stream, generating revenues for the San Bruno company.
YouTube’s ban on McInnes accomplishes nothing, and it may be intentional. His videos still earn revenues for YouTube. McInnes’ ban was a token gesture. While he doesn’t directly earn revenues from YouTube, the publicity helps him sell books and draw crowds. McInnes also makes people like me, who have done nothing but serve this nation with honor, feel like we’re interlopers, even if we were born here. McInnes, a non-American with dual Canadian and British citizenship, seems intent on making non-white Americans born in this nation feel unwelcome.
Joe Rogan, podcaster and one of YouTube’s sacred cows, did more than anyone to popularize McInnes. Many of these videos are still published on YouTube, earning revenues for Rogan and Alphabet Inc. Many consider Joe Rogan’s objections to McInnes to be feeble. Comments on the videos urge Rogan to bring back McInnes, as it’s the only way he can appear on YouTube.
The reality is that Rogan is only McInnes’ most popular promoter. Myriad YouTube channels feature inflammatory clips from the notorious hate leader. The company has never moderated Rogan, who is known to embrace conspiracy theories in addition to popularizing McInnes.
YouTube’s biggest white supremacist cash cow, Donald Trump, faced mild restrictions on his account after encouraging protesters to storm the Capitol, resulting in five deaths and hundreds of injuries. While Twitter immediately banned Trump, with more severe actions to come, YouTube waited for days before removing videos inciting violence. YouTube, a company that helped sew division in our nation, has no will to clean up the mess it created. Although Twitter may be Trump’s mouthpiece, YouTube radicalizes his base.
White People Didn’t Invent Everything
Judeo Christian values are key to Western culture. Both early Jews and Christians were non-white. The very basis of modern, Western society comes from non-white individuals in the Middle East. Depictions of Jesus as a white man with rock hard abs are not historically accurate. The Bible describes him as having bronze skin and hair of wool, with no mention of his body fat content. The most crucial figure in Western civilization was not white.
In third grade, most of us should have learned that the “Cradle of Civilization” was the Fertile Crescent located between the Tigris and Euphrates river. This is now modern-day Iraq. These people were brown, not white. They invented writing, the wheel, irrigation, and other agricultural advances.
The notion that white men created 90%, 99%, or whatever percentage of technology, culture, and intellectual discourse is entirely false. None of these bigots can explain how they arrived at this number because it’s not true.
We have a holiday known as Thanksgiving because white settlers in America were poor farmers. Native Americans fed these starving, helpless, ignorant white refugees and taught them better agricultural practices. In exchange, the white colonists exterminated ten million Native Americans, mostly through germ warfare. A simple thank you card would have sufficed. For most Americans, Thanksgiving is about binges and Christmas shopping, with little thought for the ten million who perished due to white supremacy.
White people didn’t invent germ warfare either. Gengkis Khan, whose DNA is present in many “white” Americans, appears to be the first military strategist to employ microbes as weapons. Gunpowder was a Chinese invention, along with toilet paper and many other innovations. White people of the time weren’t even concerned with hygiene, let alone technology.
Furthermore, the accomplishments of the Western world are in the past. The United States is falling apart and is the only industrialized nation without universal healthcare and high-speed rail. Our schools fail to educate far too many children and adults, leaving them even more susceptible to YouTube’s misinformation. Even our slow-moving trains often derail due to the lack of automation and poor infrastructure. There are cities like Flint, Michigan, and others, where residents cannot drink the water.
Journalist Fareed Zakaria wrote a compelling book about how Asia and the Middle East now outpace the Western world. The tallest building in the world is in Dubai. Asian and Middle Eastern cities now have the best infrastructure, even outclassing European cities like Berlin, Paris, and Copenhagen. Tokyo is a much nicer city than Detroit, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, or any other American urban decay center. If the USA is number one, I’d hate to see the other countries on that list.
“The tallest building in the world is now in Dubai, the biggest factory in the world is in China, the largest oil refinery is in India, the largest investment fund in the world is in Abu Dhabi, the largest Ferris wheel in the world is in Singapore… And… more troublingly, [the United States is] also losing [its] key grip on indices such as patent creation, scientific creations and things like that — which are really harbingers of future economic growth.”
Even YouTube, the platform that helped mainstream white supremacy, was founded by a multi-ethnic triumvirate. Thanks a lot, guys!
The claim that white people created the Internet is also patently false. A photograph of the UCLA lab where the modern-day Internet got its start proves that non-white people were also involved in this monumental endeavor.
Why White Supremacy is Offensive
YouTube videos supporting “Western Chauvinism” deeply offend most people of color. Many of us are here because most white Americans didn’t want to study science or engineering. Much like Gavin McInnes, they took the easy path in college and partied, while non-white people like me were writing code until we passed out at 4 am. The silver lining to being rejected by women based on race is that it gives one free time to learn software engineering or other in-demand skills.
My father was an immigrant from India. He earned a Ph.D. from Kansas State and founded the MBA program at Cal State Bakersfield — Kevin McCarthy’s alma mater. Donald Trump’s chief henchman benefitted from the MBA program my dark-skinned Indian father created. (McCarthy made no impression on my father. He was a mediocre student at a mediocre college.) He created more jobs than the average white person, as the students he educated founded businesses and hired employees. Even McCarthy’s delicatessen created a few low paying jobs for Bakersfield residents.
Both my father and I experienced situations where white people took credit for our work. When I first started my career, a lazy, alcoholic, white co-worker would copy software innovations I created and insert them into his projects. There’s nothing wrong with that, but instead of learning how to be a better software engineer, he decided to pass off my work as his own. He claimed my code was his original work and toured it around the company to impress people. It worked, and many believed he was a talented software engineer, even though he couldn’t even write simple SQL queries.
He showed up at 11 am and left at 4pm, never working a weekend or late night in the Silicon Valley. Instead, he spent most of the workday hungover, touring the cube farm, telling everyone about the great new thing he created, which he copied from me. When I confronted him, he said that I’m subordinate to him, regardless of what management says. For a while, it worked, as he turned it against me, accusing me of not being a team player. It’s an odd team where a benchwarmer takes credit for someone else’s home run, but it happens in corporate America.
I worked at a company that developed life-saving electronic prescribing software. Based on our market share, we saved about 360,000 lives over a decade by reducing prescription errors. The team was mostly Asian and South Asian. The white former investment banker who took credit for developing the product showed up nine years after it was created and did nothing but create a toxic workplace environment. Once again, a caustic, sociopathic white man takes credit for the work of mostly non-white people, harassing them like peons, with little understanding of the product or industry.
My father went through a similar situation. One of his colleagues, a professor with a Ph.D., had no publications beyond his dissertation. My father was publishing yet another article for an academic journal, and his colleague negotiated a deal. If my father put his name on the paper, he would return the favor. That day never came. He never wrote an academic article because he can’t write. Instead, he found some more Asians to grift, conning them into putting his name on their paper, with the same unfulfilled promise of returning the favor. He’ll probably do it again. It’s much easier than writing a peer-reviewed academic paper.
This popular professor, best known for his easy classes, has two publications under his belt yet didn’t write a single word. My father suspected he had literacy issues, and the university was never able to confirm his credentials. Today, he sits on the bench as a judge in the American justice system, in addition to his educational sinecure. White con men go far in this country. Some even become President.
Although it’s not his idea, Andrew Yang championed and mainstreamed the concept of guaranteed income. Nonetheless, those $1200, $600, and possibly $1400 direct payments are primarily the result of Yang bringing awareness to the issue. Donald Trump took credit for both direct payments, without so much as a mention of Yang. Joe Biden will take credit for the $1400 payment, if it ever comes to fruition.
The notion of a “freedom dividend” is even more generous, with $1000 a month provided to every American. Unlike Trump, whose fortune stems mostly from reality television, Andrew Yang is a true entrepreneur. Many Americans would consider Trump to be the superior businessperson, mainly due to his reality TV show and in ignorance of his numerous business failures.
The myth of white business prowess is yet another facet of white privilege. Many American business leaders are mere figureheads who spend more time on the golf course and cocktail lounge than in the boardroom.
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle also depicts a scene where white co-workers force Harold to do their work. This happens. It happened to my father and me. It happens to countless South Asians on H1B visas. It happens to numerous people of color who were born in this country.
Management often has their backs, as these agents of white privilege and supremacy spend time schmoozing instead of working. The bias created by epidermal fetishism makes it easier for white men to steal credit from minorities.
In our culture, if a white man takes an idea from a minority, most will believe the former. After all, they invented 90% of everything, right? Or did they just take credit for doing that? These myths allow scoundrels to prosper, while original thinkers become discouraged and unwilling to cooperate. I no longer work in corporate America, by choice. It’s a cesspool of white privilege and racism. I saw, for myself, that many of the people at the top do little more than golf and harass women, as they take credit for others’ hard work.
It’s hard to calculate just how many “white” inventions and ideas were stolen from non-white people. It happened in my own family. I know plenty of hard-working Indians on H1B visas who get no credit for their work. Instead, a white man who has never written a line of code in his life lays claim to creating the product, the platform, or even the Internet.
White people have created many things, but so have non-white people. White people also steal ideas from non-white people, passing them off as their own. Beyond technology, cultural appropriation robs non-white people of the credit they deserve.
White rappers and jazz musicians seem to make more than originators of the music. Kenny G is far more wealthy than John Coltrane at the height of his career. Post Malone, Eminem, and The Beasty Boys are some of the highest-earning hip-hop acts of all time. Elvis completely ripped off black rock and roll innovators like Chuck Berry, making vastly more money with far less talent.
Teamwork and collaboration form the basis of modern ingenuity. Leaders tend to be white because of systemic racism. Many of the “white” inventions were actually developed by teams of different ethnicities, with white male leaders taking the credit.
YouTube itself is a perfect example of a multi-ethnic team creating a democratic and free video-sharing platform. After Google’s acquisition, YouTube’s top management became predominantly white while the platform underwent a mercenary transformation. The new leadership added some features benefitting end-users, but the modern YouTube is mostly about protecting revenue-generating sacred cows, regardless of the trouble they create.
Unlike Dorsey, Zuckerberg, and Musk, few even know the names of YouTube’s founders. The brat pack of “well-deserving” tech billionaires is more famous than Google or Microsoft’s South Asian CEOs. No wonder so many believe white people created everything. Between the false credit-claiming and self-perpetuating myth, it’s easy to come to this ignorant conclusion unless you work in tech.
Why Does YouTube Allow White Supremacist Content?
YouTube’s motives are unclear; however, profit is likely a motivating factor. Its white supremacy content problem could be a case of neglect; however, some of these videos endured for over a decade. They’re still up after the United States’ first coup attempt and decades of flagged complaints. What will it take for YouTube to value stability, truth, and justice over profit?
Users continually flag white supremacist videos and comments on YouTube. Moderators review these comments and videos. The problem is that moderators aren’t necessarily subject matter experts. Only earning $38,000 a year, YouTube’s moderators aren’t the top school grads you’d expect. Such moderators have difficulting detecting satire or nuance because they’re neither well-educated nor experienced. If your account isn’t lucrative, they err on the side of permanently banning it, as routine moderation is blunt, rapid, and imprecise to contain costs.
It’s not hard to see that a team of low-paid, mostly-white moderators at YouTube’s Austin, Texas facility wouldn’t be bristled by the notion that white people created 90% of technology. They’re not scholars. They are employees who barely make a living wage. If you’re intelligent and well-educated, you’ll likely do better than $38,000 a year.
Even worse, a recent lawsuit exposed the harsh working conditions for YouTube moderators. There’s tremendously high turnover, with many moderators facing psychological trauma from the job:
“The suit says many content moderators remain in their positions for less than a year and that the company is “chronically understaffed,” so moderators end up working overtime and exceeding the company’s recommended four-hour daily viewing limit. Despite the demands of the job, moderators had little margin for error, the suit said.”
YouTube attempted to replace moderators with AI; however, their systems ended up rejecting videos that didn’t violate the rules. Not only does YouTube harbor and protect white supremacy, it mistreats underpaid employees and boasts about artificial intelligence technology that’s half-baked.
This seems to be the new Silicon Valley mentality — one that would even make Leyland Stanford cringe with disgust. The new robber barons don’t seem to care if they destroy the country or make most of its population feel unwelcome — even the employees they take advantage of to write the code.
YouTube’s token gestures are transparent and obvious. Unlike Twitter, YouTube barely did anything to rein in Trump, Gavin McInnes, or white supremacy. They’re all easy to find, with new videos coming in daily, earning revenues for YouTube.
It’s ironic, but YouTube’s founders could be victims of racist attacks perpetrated by assailants radicalized on their platform. It’s unlikely such an incident would change business practices. The profits are too huge to do the right thing, even if its founders experience some blowback.
If America perishes, the Silicon Valley elite can escape and operate their enterprises remotely. Some already have. I’m not sure how lucrative ad revenues will be in a post-American world, but corporate executives can’t see beyond the next quarter. There’s a whole world out there to plunder, should America perish. This myopia and greed will surely be the end of either social media or our nation.
It’s Time to Hold White Supremacists Accountable
Much like the Bundy standoff in Oregon or the recent insurrection, YouTube treats white supremacists with kid gloves. There are still countless examples of white supremacy on YouTube, even after a violent insurrection killed five people. In virtually every discussion, you see white supremacists arguing with empty, deleted accounts, as YouTube seems to favor the alt-right over the struggle for equality and respect.
Perhaps YouTube’s overwhelmingly white leadership sympathizes with alt-right causes, as do some law enforcement officers and soldiers. We can only see the black box, but it appears as though it’s rotten inside and out. Cable news can’t stoop as low as YouTube, which makes catering to deplorables fertile ground for the video giant.
A fair amount of moderators may sympathize with white supremacists causes, just like police officers, judges, and other enforcers and adjudicators. YouTube could improve this with more effective training and better guidelines. All too often, we see when white people misbehave, it’s shrugged off, while non-white people suffer the maximum penalties and punishments. We see it with YouTube, the Bundy standoff, Brock Turner, Brett Kavanaugh, the recent insurrection, and countless other events.
YouTube is a corporation. It’s only accountable to shareholders and a few feeble laws and regulations, mostly obstructed and avoided with brute-force legal practices. They can (and do) ban non-earning users for making historically correct comments about the nature of white immigrants in America.
If you’re a high earner, you can insult Muslims, “Mexicans” and even start a deadly insurrection. YouTube will punish such offenders with a week in the comfy chair — as absurd as a Monty Python sketch. For all the PR and jive about connecting the world, YouTube seems to do an excellent job of nurturing hatred, misinformation, and turmoil, converting it into profit.
Cute cat videos aren’t worth a civil war. Maybe it’s time to unplug from YouTube?
The End of YouTube?
YouTube is a powerhouse streaming media platform. Many can’t even imagine life without the service; however, it’s likely to fade away. Between anti-trust inquiries, lawsuits, competitors, customer capriciousness, and the burden of increased moderation, YouTube’s business may erode over time. Failure is more likely than not, as few tech firms persevere over time. The ones that do face many ups and downs, often requiring reorganization that could change YouTube as we know it.
The EU and US governments are currently scrutinizing Google’s business practices. Although Alphabet Inc. is the holding company that owns Google, YouTube is organized directly under the popular search engine. It’s not a separate entity under Alphabet Inc. Anti-competitive action against Google will impact YouTube, where applicable. Most likely, regulators will prevent the two entities from leveraging lucrative synergies, such as favoring YouTube in Google Video Search results. Attenuating these synergies will likely decrease click-throughs to YouTube.
Humans can only watch so much video in a day, and YouTube faces a growing roster of competitors. TikTok’s explosive growth is its most pressing competitive concern. More news sites are hosting their own video content, as YouTube takes a significant portion of ad revenues. Amature and semi-professional video are also fads that will likely die away as competing streaming services provide top-notch, original programming and blockbuster movies.
Beyond amateur video fatigue, users often need to watch several videos to obtain information. For example, if you want to learn how to fold a tortilla into a burrito — a simple task — YouTube offers an abundance of incorrect videos. You’ll end up with salsa all over your shirt unless you spend enough time to find the right one through trial and error.
DIY videos are often incorrect, misleading, or lack detail, and YouTube seems incapable of ranking authority in video because it’s no easy task. As more people flood YouTube, hoping to become stars and influencers, the platform becomes less informative and useful. I’ve given up on YouTube, turning to the Web for more accurate advice.
Although section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects YouTube to some extent, a flurry of lawsuits will burden the company with legal expenses and costly changes. The following lawsuits, too numerous to list entirely, face YouTube at the time of this writing:
- Ripple is suing YouTube over its inability to control abuse, such as fake accounts, on its platform.
- A UK privacy researcher is suing YouTube for $3.2 billion for allegedly violating children’s privacy rights.
- A group of black creators is suing YouTube over the alleged removal of content without justification.
The lawsuits are too copious to list in their entirety. Add to this the numerous settlements both Google and its subsidiary must pay out, and it’s clear that something is wrong. Corporations often get sued because they have deep pockets. YouTube appears to displease conservatives, liberals, governments, child privacy activists, and a growing list of detractors.
As the lawsuits and settlements pile on and competitors grow, it’s unlikely YouTube will even exist. Much like AOL, Silicon Graphics, MySpace, and so many others, YouTube will eventually perish. We’ll still have plenty of free amateur and semi-professional videos. Websites are already moving to host their own videos, because YouTube’s ad revenue take is far too high. Social media apps already host their own videos, taking eyeballs away from YouTube. Hopefully, YouTube’s replacement(s) will achieve better moderation practices by either being fair and comprehensive or eschewing the approach altogether.
Whatever happened to “do no evil”? Google’s YouTube subsidiary profits from hate and misinformation to protect lucrative yet dangerously provocative creators. Many feel last week’s insurrection is just the beginning for good reason. Trump isn’t going away, and YouTube is aiding and abetting this rebellion for the sake of profit. The climate YouTube created, by radicalizing much of the alt-right, affects me personally.
I’ve had security called on me in my own condo building, which I’ve lived in for 17 years. I go for a run, and some white guy in a pickup truck flips me off and hurls an incorrect racial epithet at me. Things have changed. America is more racist than in the recent past. Although this isn’t entirely due to YouTube, they’ve played a significant and well-documented role. Even the prestigious MIT Technology Review blames YouTube for radicalizing the alt-right.
YouTube disgusts me and is no longer part of my life. It’s up to you. Do you want cute kittens, ignorance and white supremacy, or a functioning democracy? YouTube is actively undermining our republic and spreading hate and misinformation worldwide, with token gestures to rein in dangerous firebrands. Its business model isn’t concerned with civil rights, civil liberties, or human kindness. If anything, YouTube seems to cater to alt-right and its extremes. After all, the cable industry isn’t interested in hosting this garbage, but it has an audience. Hatred and misinformation seem to be a revenue source that YouTube can’t deny, even if it destroys our nation and sews discord throughout the world. We can do better than YouTube.