A new experiment performed by conservative comedian Steven Crowder alleges that YouTube isn’t merely lying but that they’re purposely going out of their way to curate search results within the United States to a degree that could be considered election tampering.

In a livestream posted Tuesday, the comedian explained his process for determining whether his own videos would appear in the top of search results. By having his researcher experiment with different nationalities in their IP address, changed by using a VPN, they discovered that different countries would receive different search results when you type in searches like “Change My Mind” or “Tulsi Gabbard”. In every other country except the United States, Crowder and Gabbard’s channels appeared at the top of the search.

As of 2019, YouTube is the only mainstream video sharing platform with the reach necessary to have a major effect on the public discussion. When websites like it curate edgy political content or go as far as to limit a politician currently running for president it sets a disturbing standard that puts them in control of the public discussion.

The livestream sparked a hashtag on twitter #CrowderExposesYouTube where prominent voices from across the political spectrum called out YouTube for what Crowder alleges is politically motivated content curation.At the time of writing, neither the Gabbard Campaign nor YouTube have released as statement addressing Crowder’s claim.

Rumors of shadow banning and curating search results have circled around conservative circles on YouTube for years. Prominent conservatives and libertarians like Lauren Chen and Matt Christiansen have alluded to the fact that their analytics suggest that their channel growth has been slowed over time.

Dennis Prager’s channel Prager U has even been in an on and off lawsuit with YouTube for several years now attempting to seek retribution for the fact that their educational videos have been age-restricted by YouTube.

Allegations like these have been made by numerous people on both the right and the left who claim that their content is being slowly throttled and removed from suggested videos and search results over time to slowly stop the growth of channels YouTube doesn’t like. The claims even extend to far-left channels on YouTube in LGBTQ+ and far-left circles where claims of censorship against videos discussing sexuality and bigotry get age-restricted or flagged.

Up until now, YouTube has managed to keep all such accusations from getting out of control by blaming low level programmers and the site’s algorithms for any such inequities.

 

 
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