Carl “Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin is campaigning to become an MEP for the UKIP party. Since announcing his aspirations in the field of politics, there has been aggressive, nonstop invective made against Sargon to tar him, undermine him, and demonize his position. They’ve also made attempts to block his campaign from making use of social media, and now YouTube has completely demonetized Sargon’s entire channel, which has more than 958,200 subscribers.
YouTube told Buzzfeed that the demonetization came in lieu of reports from media outlets resurfacing old Twitter comments from 2016 that Sargon made where he sarcastically replied to a British MP who was talking about rape and death threats she was receiving by saying “I wouldn’t even rape you @jessphillips”.
“[…] YouTube told BuzzFeed News the company was now taking the step of demonetising Benjamin’s Sargon of Akkad channel, which has almost 1 million subscribers, effectively removing Benjamin’s ability to make advertising money from videos he posts on the platform.
“A company spokesperson also confirmed Benjamin had been removed from the “YouTube Partner Program”, which gives popular video creators access to a share of YouTube’s advertising money, assistance when it comes to copyright, and direct contact with the company’s IT support.”
Essentially they’re trying to cut off all means of financial support that Sargon could receive in order to campaign and run for MEP, as well as demonetize him to the point where he can no longer support himself or his family.
According to Reclaim The Net, Sargon issued a statement about the YouTube demonetization through his Discord channel, which was shared by Twitter user LordScrump on May 9th, 2019.
Some notes on the Sargon demonetization:
He’s confirmed it to us via Discord
Looks like total demonetization; that means ads, super-chats, youtube membership -everything.
Initial testing also indicates his channel has also be de-boosted, no longer appearing in recommended etc pic.twitter.com/jonu2XNIUU
— 🇬🇧Lord Scrumpington🇬🇧 (@LordScrump) May 9, 2019
If you’re unable to read the message in the image, it states…
“YouTube let us know today that they have demonetised my YouTube channel, which as you know is my primary source of income, and how I support my family and team.
I’ve always taken care to comply with YouTube’s rules, and the only thing I’ve done differently recently is standing for public office. Companies as large as YouTube have to rely heavily on algorithms that are vulnerable to mass reporting from malicious actors. Given how much of a hate-mob has been stirred up against me due to the, frankly, dishonest reporting about my candidacy, it is hardly a surprise that this has happened.
“There’s a 30-day period after which YouTube will consider my appeal, and I will cooperate fully with whatever procedure they put in place to achieve a restitution. I have had very few community guidelines strikes in the last five years, and my channel spends most of its time in good standing.
“My team and I are touch [sic] with YouTube and I’m confident we will rectify the misunderstanding soon.”
This isn’t the first time that this kind of de-platforming has taken place. Sargon of Akkad was also banned from Patreon in 2018, after he was permanently banned from Twitter back in August of 2017. Reddit also recently moved to quarantine the Sargon of Akkad sub-reddit as a way to reduce visibility of the UKIP candidate on the social media platform.
While there are people constantly stating that “private companies can do what they want”, what we’re seeing here is a collective coordination of censorship to not only derail their political campaign but also to ruin their lives financially, all because the individual has opinions they don’t agree with.
(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)
(Main image courtesy of Sky News)