You’re not crazy, nor are you paranoid.
If you are under the impression that the very nature of your video content is running the risk of being demonetized or censored, you are probably right.
Faith-based broadcasters, creators of conservative content, and the broadcast community are concerned about future access to the Internet.
Freedom of Expression
At the heart of all this is freedom of expression. Over the last several months we’ve all seen more and more instances of the major tech companies suppressing speech through censoring their content.
But nothing has been more concerning than the response from Big Tech during the Presidential election last fall. No matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, the fact that Silicon Valley “went there” — shutting down dissenting voices — can be interpreted only one way: censorship is knocking at our door.
Right now companies like Google, YouTube, and Facebook are protected from the threat of mass litigation by their users. Let’s face it: tech companies are, in fact, monopolies.
They wield a lot of power.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is so concerned about the power Big Tech wields that they are supporting the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA). Currently before lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the bill would institute an antitrust safe harbor and allow news producers to negotiate with digital platforms over the carriage terms of their content.
Earlier this month, a member of the NAB Television Board spoke before US House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law at a hearing titled “Reviving Competition, Part 2: Saving the Free and Diverse Press.”
Speaking on behalf of broadcasters, Emily Barr, President and CEO of Graham Media Group, warned that the overwhelming power of Silicon Valley is threatening Americans’ access to local journalism. Barr claims, not only does Big Tech take a bite out of local stations’ advertising revenue, but they are gatekeepers of online content, controlling consumer access to the internet.
So if the tech companies are in the driver’s seat, what option does a content creator have?
You can stay with the platforms you currently use for content distribution and hope for the best. Or, utilize you’re buying power and look for a platform that does not discriminate.
Right now there are few options on the market, but one site we are taking a closer look at is Rumble. Growing in popularity, Rumble is quickly becoming a strong contender to YouTube.
According to its website, this platform was founded less than ten years ago, yet today has 50 million monthly uniques and hosts 150,000 creators.
Rumble claims to keep its focus on allowing creators, regardless of their current clout, better opportunities at monetizing their work. Keeping the focus on their client base, rather than an internal agenda, sounds promising.
What will the future bring?
I predict that — as the “slippery slope” of censorship continues — more options will become available. Other companies will likely fill the void that Big Tech is leaving in the marketplace.
To be sure, Silicon Valley has forgotten the importance of customer satisfaction. As broadcasters and content creators, we deserve better. Actively seeking out, and choosing to invest in non-censorship alternatives to live streaming, may be our only choice.