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YouTube strips rising media company Epoch Times of ability to monetize video content

"This is the latest example of big tech suppression of free speech, a step on the road to communist-style censorship' - publisher Stephen Gregory.

Updated: January 26, 2021 - 2:54pm

YouTube, the video platform service that is a Google subsidiary, has banned The Epoch Times, a rising, conservative-leaning media outlet, from earning money off its videos. 

"YouTube demonetized the Epoch Times and related accounts last week," Stephen Gregory, publisher of The Epoch Times confirmed to Just the News on Tuesday in an email. "This is the latest example of big tech suppression of free speech, a step on the road to communist-style censorship."

A YouTube spokesperson acknowledged Tuesday in an email to Just the News that the company had demonetized the publication's channel and affiliated channels and had suspended them from the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) – over issues related to harmful or sensitive content.

"All channels on YouTube need to comply with our Community Guidelines, and in order to monetize, channels must comply with the YouTube Partner Program policies, which include our Advertiser-Friendly Guidelines," the spokesperson also said. "Channels that repeatedly violate these policies are suspended from our partner program."

The spokesperson noted that channels removed from its partner program are able to appeal the decision or reapply to YPP in 30 days, provided the underlying issues that led to suspension have been addressed to YouTube's liking.

The move by YouTube follows Twitter earlier this month de-platforming former President Trump and some conservative users, and the app Parler being denied web hosting services by Amazon. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Jan. 13 issued civil investigative demands to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Web Services, and Apple, asking the companies for their policies and practices regarding content moderation and, more specifically, for information related to Parler, a social media application popular among conservatives that was recently terminated or blocked by Google, Amazon, and Apple.

On Thursday, a federal judge denied Parler's request to have Amazon immediately restore its web service, saying she rejects "any suggestion that the public interest favors requiring AWS to host the incendiary speech."

Larry Elder, a prominent, African-American conservative filmmaker who hosts a video series for The Epoch Times, confirmed during an interview with the "Just the News AM" television program that the de-monetization hit him personally, reducing his income.

"We have to build our own infrastructure, our own social media platforms," Elder said, pointing to alternative social platforms like Gab.com and video service Rumble.com. "The only answer is not to bitch, moan and whine about how how unfairly we're being treated, not to run to the government to pass more regulations. The answer is to build our own platforms. And we have been asleep at the switch."

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