On Tuesday, Blaze personality and “Louder With Crowder” host Steven Crowder went live on his YouTube channel to present evidence he believes shows YouTube and Google censoring 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard and removing her videos and YouTube channel from American search results at key times.
Crowder, who came across the evidence as a result of his prior dealings with YouTube — including enduring a coordinated attack on his ability to monetize his channel, pushed by Vox Media — claims that, following former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s attacks on Gabbard, Friday, YouTube throttled Gabbard’s channel, removing it from American search results, even though the channel and videos remained visible in other countries.
Crowder and his team report that they used several different VPNs to conduct searches for Gabbard’s content, each VPN for a different nation. The team then recorded the results of their experiment. Crowder released the videos on his Twitter feed Tuesday afternoon during his live broadcast.
The first video shows results for Gabbard on Friday, after Clinton claimed that Gabbard was a Russian asset and that Russia was assisting in promoting Gabbard in order to upend the 2020 presidential election with a viable third party candidate.
“We searched for Tulsi Gabbard, her channel and her videos all showed up first,” Crowder claimed on his livestream. “When we switched our VPN to the United Sates … nothing.”
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) October 22, 2019
The second video shows Gabbard’s results returning to normal on Sunday, well after she had passed out of social media’s trending topics. The results, Crowder says, “magically switched back to being identical.”
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) October 22, 2019
Crowder called the results “chilling,” and suggested that the searchers were proof that YouTube’s algorithm can be altered and that YouTube can effectively control the flow of information to its users.
The late-night Internet host then went on to say that he believes, based on his own experience working with YouTube in the wake of his channel’s demonitziation, that it is a YouTube employee (or employees) — a real person or persons — “flipping the switch” on Gabbard’s channel and not simply a result of a flaw in YouTube’s master algorithm or location-based search result tailoring.
Months ago, when Crowder was demonitized by YouTube, following a protracted battle with a far-left journalist, the team at “Louder with Crowder” noticed that the organic reach of their videos was declining, resulting in a dearth of new users, despite what Crowder claims were record views: “Our views were better than ever, so was our retention … all the most valued metrics according to YouTube.”
Crowder says his team then began to dig into reasons for the decline in his organic reach, eventually discovering what Crowder terms “peculiarities” and “tomfoolery” in YouTube’s search function. Trying to find one of his own “Change My Mind” videos, Crowder says he ran a YouTube search using the basic search term, “Steven Crowder change my mind.” When nothing showed up, he and his team ran similar searches, he says, and alerted viewers, who reported the “exact same result.”
Other viewers claimed Crowder was “doctoring” photos of his own search results, because they had no trouble with their search function.
The issue, Crowder says he and his team discovered, only applied to American viewers. Using alternate VPNs, the team discovered that “blacklisting on this channel was occurring in the United States exclusively.” Crowder claims that he was sent proof of this phenomenon from “all across the world.”
When Crowder did an impromptu video on the issue — and asked his audience to consider whether the same phenomenon could happen to others, including political candidates who ran afoul of YouTube and its parent company, Google — he says he received a phone call from someone at YouTube who said they could make changes that would “ameliorate the situation.”
Crowder now charges that his conversation with a YouTube “higher up” demonstrates that YouTube employees can manually control the algorithm, leaving situations like Tulsi Gabbard’s the fault of subjective censorship from within Google’s ranks.
Crowder says he will continue to gather evidence of YouTube’s alleged censorship and has encouraged his audience to do the same.
Gabbard, meanwhile, is already embroiled in a lawsuit against Google, YouTube, and parent company, Alphabet, alleging similar censorhip on Google’s AdSense platform, according to the New York Times. Gabbard’s litigation centers around claims that Google throttled Gabbard’s AdSense ads when she was trending on Twitter during the first Democratic debate, even though she and her team had purchased ads on key search terms related to her campaign.
You can watch Crowder’s full report here: