A couple days ago, a gun channel was taken off youtube. Youtube shortly restores it and says it was taken down because it was thought to have violated the Google+ TOS, but it turned out to be nothing. Several other youtubers and fans expressed their concern, considering the highly suspicious timing and Google's already widely known stance. Tonight it was taken down again. Is this pure stupidity, or flagrant censorship?

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Silly you for not paying attention to what I wrote.

What you wrote still directly references censorship. Which you have not demonstrated. 

"What really pisses me off about it is that this is motivated by the desire to censor different views."

Everyone here, even those who agree with you that it's shitty, agree that this has nothing to do with a desire to censor, and everything to do with their bottom line. 

Is this pure stupidity, or flagrant censorship?

Neither.

A lot of what youtube does is dumb. I hate everything was taken down, can look up that whole thing. 

Prank channels that shamelessly break the ToS for youtube still exist, and youtube has no intention of taking them down.

In terms of ad revenue being removed, I don't see how that's censoring. 

A man starts holding a sign with his views on them. People walk by and read the sign. Eventually people walk by and start paying the man for his views. The man quits his job to pursue sign holding full time. People stop paying him. 

See my reply to Liam. A few regressive advertisers got their drawers in a knot. Youtube decides to remove ad revenue for channels under 10,000 views. This not only hurts growing channels, such as the one I worked for, but it also is motivated by advertisers wanting to censor viewpoints. It de-incentivizes small channels from continuing on. I know a right winger with a small youtube channel. He's the type to probably continue making content, but this definitely hurts him. Youtube is carpet bombing.

"it also is motivated by advertisers wanting to censor viewpoints"

I disagree. It's not about advertisers wanting to censor anyone or anything in particular; it's about certain advertisers not wanting their brands to be associated with certain themes. They don't give a shit whether or not the LGBT Nazi conspiracy gun truthers get to post up content on YouTube; they just don't want their name and products to be associated with the LGBT Nazi conspiracy gun truthers on YouTube.  

Finally, the first decent argument on this thread today.

Maybe. But that assumes people would associate what is, to my knowledge, a randomly selected advertiser with a content creator whose only association with said advertiser is clicking the button to monetize the video. That also ignores YouTube's previously demonstrated proclivity for stifling channels they simply don't like.

"Maybe. But that assumes people would associate what is, to my knowledge, a randomly selected advertiser with a content creator whose only association with said advertiser is clicking the button to monetize the video."

The issue is that the average person doesn't know that's how that works because, traditionally, in TV / print / radio / theatre / every other type of  of advertising you can think of, advertisers were not simply advertising during the content; they were actually sponsoring the content and making its production and distribution or performance possible in whole or in part.

Because of this tradition, and despite the randomization of internet ads, a lot of people still assume that advertising on/in/during certain content or media means endorsement of said content or media. That's why advertisers don't want their ads associated with certain types of content on YouTube.

"That also ignores YouTube's previously demonstrated proclivity for stifling channels they simply don't like."

Whether or not that's the case, it's a completely different issue than the one I described above. And, on this specific issue, I'm with the others: YouTube is a private service; not a public one. Using it is a privilege granted by its owner; not a right owed to anyone and everyone. So taking down channels they don't like certainly is a form of censorship but it's one to which they have a right and we have no recourse. If you want to argue that it's in the public's best interest to nationalize YouTube then we'd be having a completely different conversation about what kind of censorship this is and whether or not it's okay.

I can't speak for others, but I've never associated advertisers with youtube content beyond the random selection.

I'm with the others here too on youtube having the right to censor; I'm just tired of their straw man arguments and statist mentality. Straw man because nobody on this thread has said youtube should be nationalized. Statist mentality because "can" and "should" don't always align. It's insulting to one's intelligence.

They both "can" and "should". If certain actions are cutting in to their profit margins, and it is not illegal to cease those actions, they should cease those actions. YouTube is not a public good. Even if freely distributed media and multiple points of view are argued to be a public good, YouTube is not a monopoly. There are other outlets.

Should they do it if they want to please their advertisers? Yes.

Should they do it if they want to be friendly to new creators? No.

Like I said, I know that nonpolitical people involved with youtube don't like this. I think they'll wind up like twitter. So I don't know if this will ultimately be a profitable move.

Now, should they do it if they care about being dicks? No. And Google doesn't care if they're dicks.

Google is a publicly traded company. They're stuck in the corporate model of being beholding to share holders. If they piss off enough of their stakeholders (content providers), they'll lose. But, right now, they should please their shareholders.

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