Despite the hopes and pipe dreams of far too many people, it seems YouTube is still the same censorious platform now as it was under its previous ownership.
Censorship and YouTube go together like peanut butter and jelly as the platform’s attacks on free speech continues with no end in sight — something that has seemingly remained intact after former CEO Susan Wojcicki stepped down and was succeeded by censorship advocate Neal Mohan.
Numerous content creators have found themselves under the boot of YouTube’s ever-changing but poorly defined terms of service, which can seemingly delete a creator’s work without notice.
It was earlier this month that YouTube finally reversed their Elections Misinformation Policy that heavily censored content that questioned the results of political elections. However, that doesn’t mean that the platform’s war against dissent is over.
Censorship on YouTube seems to have ramped up in June, amid the celebration of Pride Month, starting with a major Christian YouTube channel that has come under fire for uploading content that pushes against the gender identity narrative on the video-sharing platform.
On June 9th, YouTuber TreasureChrist, whose real name is Michael Cheng, received word that his channel had been completely demonetized without a warning. The following week, Cheng notified his audience that his channel has lost demonetization for at least 30 days before he is allowed to reapply to YouTube’s partnership program. Within a few hours, that period was upped to 90 days before Cheng could reapply.
TreasureChrist’s content involves commentary on current world issues such as blasphemy in entertainment, heresy of popular preachers like Joel Osteen and Mike Todd, and the LGBTQ agenda.
Cheng uses video clips from Reformist Christian ministers such as John MacArthur, Paul Washer, and Voddie Baucham as to quote biblical scripture that aligns with many issues the world and the culture deals with today.
The trouble started a few weeks ago when YouTube slapped an age restriction to one of the videos Cheng uploaded to his channel, claiming the content “may be inappropriate for some users” and requiring viewers to sign in before they could watch it.
Titled “They Are Going VIRAL Because of This… | John MacArthur,” the video discussed the culture’s push to normalize transgender ideology and progressive dogma of presentism in the media. Before it was age restricted and pushed outside of the YouTube algorithm, Cheng’s video was only available for all audiences for a mere 24 hours.
Making minor adjustments, Cheng reuploaded the video but it was ultimately age-restricted by YouTube. Further, the video-sharing platform reportedly rejected Cheng’s appeal to resolve the age restriction within minutes.
On June 12th, Michael Cheng uploaded a video about The Daily Wire’s censorship struggles on YouTube and Twitter — specifically in regards to the outreach of Matt Walsh’s What Is A Woman? documentary that criticizes the normalization of gender issues in the west.
Cheng would later be notified that TreasureChrist had been demonetized on the grounds of “Harassment.” According to YouTube, the video was “Content that threatens individuals, or insults them based on intrinsic attributes such as their protect group status or physical traits.”
This would apply to any content that criticizes LGBTQ community on the platform. Cheng noted that his videos features heavy editing and voice overs as he rarely gives his own opinion about the topics.
Cheng opts to use Christian sermons to comment on current events, sermons that apparently violate YouTube’s ever-changing terms of service.
TreasureChrist has amassed a major following of over 719K subscribers and nearly 200 million views as of this writing. The channel is one of the biggest for Christian content but with the recent demonetization, Michael admits that it will be harder to get editing for his videos with the lost of funds.
“Thankfully, I am not a full time YouTuber so I don’t depend on this income to feed myself or my family,” he said. “However, the YouTube revenue that I do receive funds my videos, which cost about 300 dollars each to make for the voiceover and editors.”
Cheng states that, unless he can get more funds to produce the videos, he will likely limit his weekly output of content. Cheng has setup a GoFundMe page, a Patreon, and a Venmo (@TreasureChrist) for fans of his channel to support his content while he waits to reapply to the program.
As mentioned earlier, The Daily Wire has made their issues with YouTube public these past few weeks as YouTube threatens to ban both their official and their associates’ respective channels, which include political commentators Candace Owens, Matt Walsh, and Ben Shapiro, amongst others.
Back in April, The Daily Wire host Matt Walsh uploaded a video wherein the political commentator revealed his YouTube channel had been demonetized over his comments about transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
In a fairly lengthy thread, Jeremy Boreing, co-CEO of The Daily Wire, took to social media to express his disappointment in YouTube’s recent actions regarding their policies and community guidelines.
“Over the last few months, @realDailyWire has received ~200 violations from @YouTube across our accounts for @MattWalshBlog, @benshapiro, @RealCandaceO, @michaeljknowles, @jordanbpeterson, @andrewklavan, and @imbrettcooper,” Boreing said, explaining, “Almost all are over coverage of the trans debate.”
Boreing proceeded to elaborate, adding, “Last month, @MattWalshBlog was demonetized. On Friday, @realCandaceO and @MichaelJKnowles were suspended for 7 days after receiving their 2nd strike, and @JordanBPeterson was given his 1st strike — 3 in 90 days and you account is terminated.
“In the last 90 days, our accounts have received 104 violations for “Hateful and Derogatory” content, earning them ‘limited monetization,'” Boreing revealed. “Again, nearly every one of these violations comes from our coverage of the trans debate.”
He went on, “Over 25% of the US population gets its news from @YouTube, and The Daily Wire is one of the largest news brands in the space. Last week, our accounts had over 157M views on @YouTube. That’s over 20M views a day. Yet we are on the verge of losing access to the platform.”
“In our discussions, @YouTube’s policy team claims they want to be a place where we can debate this issue, but virtually every time we discuss it we receive these violations,” Boreing decried.
The co-CEO of The Daily Wire also noted that even psychologist Jordan Peterson, “giving his professional analysis on the subject,” was struck by YouTube’s policies.
“If @YouTube truly believes in free speech, they must change these vague and capricious policies and their arbitrary enforcement,” Boreing concluded, promising, “In the meantime, we will keep fighting and speaking the truth everywhere we can.”
Cheng said that while he may change his approach in editing his videos, he will not shy away from biblical truth on issues regarding the LGBTQ community and what they promote, especially when it comes to the message they try to push on children.
As Ephesians 5:11 (NKJV) states, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”
What are your thoughts on TreasureChrist being targeted on YouTube for content tackling the transgender debate?