YouTube switched Steve Bannon’s documentary film “Trump @ War” to “restricted mode” late last week, causing the number of viewers it was attracting to plummet.
Bannon released the movie for online viewing, at first exclusively through The Western Journal in mid-September.
The provocative documentary, aimed at motivating Republicans to get to polls next month, garnered more than 200,000 views on Facebook.
The Western Journal then uploaded the film on to its YouTube channel on Sept. 28, where over 460,000 viewed it.
However, less than a week after the documentary was available on YouTube, the social media giant placed it in restricted mode, which dramatically reduced the number watching the film.
In order to watch a video in restricted mode, users must be logged into their Google or YouTube accounts.
Google, YouTube’s parent company, has a policy that places videos into restricted mode when the company deems the content not appropriate for all ages.
Objectionable content includes: vulgar language, violence or disturbing imagery, nudity and sexually suggestive content, the portrayal of harmful or dangerous activities.
“Trump @ War” certainly contains vulgar language, as well as violent and disturbing images.
The opening montage shows news and other footage of violence being perpetrated against Trump supporters, including them being punched and bloodied.
Some of the footage also shows those opposed to Trump and his supporters yelling obscenities.
In its YouTube caption for the movie, The Western Journal wrote, “We’ve been restricted…This movie was getting too popular.”
The video has over 24,000 likes and nearly 9,000 comments on YouTube.
One user commented, “Message to YouTube. It is not your place to censor politics. I am looking for any platform to replace you because of your totalitarian community guidelines…You are doing everything you accuse Trump of.”
Another wrote, “I love how YouTube have put this video behind a ‘might be offensive’ wall. Wonder who (on the Left) reported it…for all of its Leftist violence. These Leftists are stupid.”
WJ directs those wanting to view the video to go to an alternative site: StreamTrumpAtWar.com.
Last year, YouTube placed videos from CR-TV personality Steven Crowder and the conservative Prager U in restricted mode.
Crowder argued in spring of 2017 that YouTube appears to target conservatives, noting his “Louder With Crowder” programs are FCC-compliant, including bleeping out foul language.
He then pointed out that the liberal “Young Turks Program,” which is “far more profane” never seems to garner the restricted mode status.
Prager U, founded by conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager, sued Google in the fall of 2017, claiming by placing its channel’s instructional videos on such topics as the economy, religious liberty, and Judeo-Christian values in restricted mode, YouTube was, in effect, guilty of censorship.
Earlier this year, according to Reuters, a federal judge in California ruled against Prager U stating that Google, as a private company, can set and enforce its own publishing rules as it sees fit.
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