YouTube has never been shy when it comes to cracking down on channels that went against its guidelines. Some of your favourite channels no doubt have been hit by censorship in the past. But lately, it seems as though YouTube is trying its best, and not always successfully, to moderate and control channels that it deems to be against policies.
Most recently this has been related specifically to pro-gun channels and those making false claims regarding victims of gun violence. But unfortunately for all of us it has not been limited to that. Now it seems like YouTube are trying to eradicate a part we feel strongly about – CBD channels.
One of the greatest things about the internet may simply be the fact it gives a voice to so many people who might not otherwise have one. While this can be a bad thing in certain cases, like when people are spouting hateful hubris, at other times it allows us to access information we might have missed or never known.
There are tonnes of channels on YouTube dedicated to learning and improving oneself. But YouTube has had enough of certain sites that present malformed arguments or ones that bully or intimidate people. Some channels like Alex Jones’ InfoWars had a strike against it after it called one of the survivors of a mass shooting a “crisis actor”. This brought with a whole host of ‘next up’ videos that were filled with rumour and false information.
Understanding the multi-faceted world of CBD oil is just another of those that have now fallen under the blanket crackdown by YouTube.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki had announced at South by Southwest that there would be the introduction of “information cues” to fact-based websites where viewers could learn more about the topics being discussed. Despite this, and despite the proliferation of material which attests that CBD is non-psychoactive or addiction forming, those channels promoting CBD are still being targeted.
In an article written by Jonathan Albright, Untrue-Tube, in it he outlines how the algorithms that YouTube operates from actually favour content centred around disinformation and conspiracy theories. YouTubers or information channels that can provide helpful information on hemp growth or the benefits of CBD, unfortunately, have just been caught up in it.
What’s worst about this is that the more we know about CBD the better able we may be able to treat certain illnesses and live healthier lives. It’s no secret that the research that has gone into CBD is outrageously limited due to the restrictions placed upon it. The more YouTube cracks down the less information there is available for people.
The culture of CBD and marijuana enthusiasts won’t be shut down so easily. It will always find a way to grow and spread information. Vloggers are already starting new platforms where they can talk about CBD as much as they like. Although they don’t yet have the audiences they once had, it’s a start, and only a matter of time before people find them again. It’s sad to see such a titan of free speech and information like YouTube take such a turn but from this hopefully, something wonderful will grow.