Posted Aug 22, 2017 by Michael L. Brown

It all happened in the course of one night, and it happened quite suddenly.

Last Thursday night, I noticed that YouTube demonetized my interview with a former KKK Grand Dragon who is now an associate pastor in an African American church, claiming it was “Not suitable for all advertisers”? Why wouldn’t it be? It was a great, positive, redemptive story, one that the whole world should hear. Why flag it?

The demonetizing of this video was the first thing that got my attention, but I thought to myself, “It’s probably because it has KKK in the title.”

For months now, we had noticed that almost any video we had with “Islam” in the title would get demonetized. But when we would request a review from YouTube, some of the videos would get reinstated.

Still, we had seen a drop of more than 65% in our AskDrBrown YouTube income, despite producing more, not less videos. What was causing this to happen?

We are a non-profit ministry, and every dime that comes in goes back into ministry work. Why the precipitous decline?

Well, no sooner did I see that the Grand Dragon video had been flagged than I spotted a note on our channel from YouTube. It explained that, if we had seen a drop in video income, it could be that our videos had been marked as not suitable for all advertisers.

That’s when the shocking reality began to unfold.

It wasn’t just a few videos here and there that were flagged. It was dozens of them. No, wait, it was pages of them. No wait, pages and pages of them.

Literally, in front of my eyes, I watched the pages grow – from 2 pages, to 5, to 7, to 10, to 15, to 20, to, 32 pages, each with 30 videos – so, more than 900 videos.

It wasn’t individual videos being flagged. It was our account that was flagged.

Suddenly, the vast majority of our videos had been demonetized since the content was ostensibly too controversial.

We’re talking about videos like:

Debates I had with rabbis were flagged; powerful stories, like a Muslim woman being healed by Jesus, were flagged; videos where I answered questions like, “Should Christians Homeschool Their Children?” or “Did Jesus Claim to Be God?” were flagged, along with videos of spiritual encouragement (like the one encouraging believers to look to the Lord in the midst of chaos).

Teaching videos were flagged (like the one explaining that the Preface to the King James Version of the Bible refutes King James Onlyism), along with motivational videos (like the one where I talked about how I lost 95 lbs.). All these were flagged, along with the many videos that focused on LGBT issues or radical Islam or politics. Seriously?

For months, we’ve been hearing about the YouTube crackdown on conservative voices, especially those who have the temerity to confront certain “controversial” issues. And we’ve known that, with the ADL joining forces with YouTube, blatant censorship could be next.

We’ve watched as Prager U videos were temporarily removed. We’ve heard others cry foul as their videos were demonetized, most recently major internet players like Paul Joseph Watson Diamond and Silk. (Whether or not you agree with these voices, they deserve the same rights and privileges others have on YouTube.)

Still, it was quite a shock to see that the vast majority of our videos were demonetized in a single night. (When I posted this video on Facebook, I thought all our videos had been flagged; actually, just the vast majority were. The overall impact is virtually the same.)

Our YouTube channel is still young and growing. But we do have more than 900 videos posted, over 33,000 subscribers, and more than 5 million views so far. And we absolutely plan to use the medium of YouTube to reach as many people as possible.

But their recent actions, which are as indiscriminate as they are discriminatory, must be challenged, and along with others, we plan to do that very thing. We are also working on alternate means to produce, fund, and distribute our videos, so stay tuned for more information in the coming days.

For the moment, we’re rejoicing in the opposition we have received, taking it as a good sign overall. And we’re confident that if this door closes, God will open a better one.

Our immediate message to YouTube is simple: We will not be silenced.


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SMac77 posted a comment · Aug 22, 2017
With regard to the previous comment, there are several issues with your line of thinking. First of all, I highly doubt you would be providing the same advice if the poster was supporting a cause you would agree with. Even scales should be applied unless there is substantial evidence provided that the terms of use are being violated. In this case, it sounds like the terms of use are not being violated, so it is indeed a case where YouTube is not in compliance with its own policies which could make it financially liable for losses. Secondly, the purpose of posting to a secular site is to reach out to audiences in and outside the Christian sphere. The purpose is to spread the gospel to encourage and instruct believers, as well as to spread the message of the gospel to unbelievers. Simply, switching to an "evangelical" YouTube would defeat half the purpose for posting in the first place. Again though, I doubt you would sing the same song if an organization near and dear to your own heart were similarly targeted.
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amalekthegoatherder posted a comment · Aug 22, 2017
Dr. Brown, you have not been silenced. I just checked, your videos are still up, free and available for viewing by anyone. Youtube simply chose not to let you use their platform to make money off of them (which is simply what this complaint is about). They are a private organization with rules and regulations and freedom to decide who and when you can use their platform as a source of income. Don't like it, set up your own platform. There is no obligation to use theirs. I find it absurd how "christians" complain about the godless "leftists" but then complain that those same "leftists" are not letting them profit off of them. Isn't there a youtube for evangelicals? Use that one, no one will stop you. As an aside, since when did the preaching of the gospel become about number of subscribers, youtube views and source of income? We sound like merchants in the temple.