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YouTube is taking away freedom of speech for company advertisements

Illustration by: Maria Tahir | Staff Illustrator

Due to complaints from Google and its advertisers, YouTube is now infringing upon one of the most important amendments in the Constitution—freedom of speech.

New content guidelines have been set in place, and creators must walk on eggshells to avoid offending companies, and YouTube’s money-making capabilities. This makes creating genuine content essentially impossible for YouTubers, and can dampen the enthusiasm they once held for creating material.

Some of my favorite YouTubers, Tre Melvin, It’s Bambi and TPindell, are no longer able to fully express themselves because they must omit sexual humor and use of profanity. They also cannot express any political views or talk about subjects that can be polarizing and inspire conflict.

YouTube now deems people who make videos public figures rather than internet sensations. YouTubers are held more morally accountable for the content they create as their subscriber count increases.

Google, the company that owns YouTube, also provides advertisements on many popular YouTube channels. If a company wants to use a specific YouTuber to endorse their products or advertise in general, Google becomes involved.

Of course, each YouTuber will receive monetary compensation for allowing this company to pimp their pages—but there is a catch. In order to collect the money they made, each YouTuber must sign a contract of terms and conditions that entail the restrictions of their content.

This idea would be fine if the terms and conditions were not subject to change or attempts to take away basic rights of speech and expression were not allowed.

The detailed list of restricted material includes sexually suggestive content and humor, inappropriate language, profanity and vulgarity.

The most ludicrous restrictions are those regarding controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies.

While creating content for YouTube is a job for many and company’s reputations are on the line, business moves should never interfere with people’s political, social and sexual preferences.

At the end of the day, these YouTubers are people with minds of their own. Their voices deserve to be heard and not shut down by greedy companies that are more concerned with their bottom lines than American freedoms.

YouTube needs to lift the restrictions off hardworking YouTubers and accept their creativity no matter what social, political or religious views they hold.

The freedom of expression is a right that should never be infringed upon, regardless of how heavily profanity is used or how viewpoints are.

If we can return to the raw, unfiltered platform that once was called YouTube, we may see the light at the end of a bland and joyless tunnel of media oppression.

Sterling Wilmer is a psychology sophomore