YouTube censors Good Kid Productions: Good Kid Productions is a YouTube channel that produces commentary videos on hot-button stories and issues in the news. On November 18, 2022, Good Kids Productions posted a documentary entitled, “The Broken Boys of Kenosha: Jacob Blake, Kyle Rittenhouse, and the Lies We Still Live By.” According to an article that Rob Montz, co-founder and CEO of Good Kid Productions, wrote for the Daily Wire, “For the first four weeks after its release, the video was untouched by YouTube management, allowing it to steadily rack up views. Then, suddenly, in late December, without warning, YouTube designated the video as ‘age-restricted.’” Age-restrictions, according to YouTube’s guidelines, target videos that contain “nudity and sexually suggestive content,” “violent or graphic content,” or “vulgar language,” to name a few examples. However, as Montz explains, “A documentary deconstructing the media’s coverage of a police shooting and the resulting mass riots is, admittedly, going to contain some mature themes. But all the ‘mature’ visuals come from publicly available news pieces that are themselves available unrestricted on YouTube. The violence isn’t graphic. It’s the sort that might make PBS News. There’s no blood, guts, or sex, and there’s just a single use of profanity (by a BLM activist). And YouTube’s community guidelines explicitly carve out exceptions for news pieces, which is exactly what our documentary is.” In short, Good Kids Productions had no gratuitous content and should have been protected under YouTube’s provisions for news pieces.
According to Montz’s article, Good Kids Productions reached out to YouTube to ask what specific parts of the video violated the YouTube guidelines. A YouTube support person, “Emman,” responded with a reaffirmation of restriction, saying “a human reviewer re-evaluated your content and determined that it does violate our Community Guidelines.” Age-restrictions severely limit a video’s impact. Montz writes, “The “age-restricted” designation doesn’t fully nuke the video: It gets to stay up, but under restrictions that, in theory, simply prevent it from reaching an underage audience. In practice, age restriction is a death knell: The video can’t be embedded on external websites; viewers have to sign in before they can watch it; and it receives scant – if any – boost from YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, which is a crucial source of views.” Currently, the restriction remains in place. Instead of a thumbnail image, the documentary displays a message from YouTube that says, “This video may be inappropriate for some users,” and requires the viewer to click a button that says, “I understand and wish to proceed.” Clicking the button brings the viewer to another warning screen. The new message says, “The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.” In smaller text appear the words, “Viewer discretion is advised.” The viewer must then click another button that says, “I understand and wish to proceed” before he or she can access the video. This is not the only time YouTube has restricted videos discussing race relations, specifically, Daily Wire’s discussion on Kyle Rittenhouse.