Famed cartoonist and political commentator Scott Adams told his audience that YouTube removed two of his videos because they contained comments regarding the November election. He said it feels like YouTube is setting him up for a penalty that could lead to his channel being purged from the Google-owned online video platform.
In his March 15 daily livestream, Adams said that YouTube informed him that two of his January videos “promoted false election claims” and were taken down. As far as he could tell, the videos did no such thing, but YouTube, per its common practice, didn’t explain what specifically Adams said that irked its censors.
“I don’t even have a guess why I got censored,” he said.
Normally, an alleged policy violation results in a “strike” and if three accumulate, the entire channel gets deleted. For many a YouTube personality, that’s nearly a career kill. In this case, however, YouTube spared Adams the penalty.
“They’re saying we’re not going to give you a strike because you probably didn’t know you did anything wrong. But what happens the next time?” he asked.
“Then next time, can they not say, ‘We warned you’? I feel like they could, because they did warn me but they didn’t tell me what it was that I did. So I don’t have the option of avoiding it because I don’t know what it was. Now, do you see what’s happening? … Doesn’t that look like a setup to you?”
In response to The Epoch Times inquiry, a Google spokesperson asked for links to the deleted videos. The Epoch Times located the links through the Internet Archive, but didn’t receive further response from Google by press time.
Adams’s situation is part of a pattern that appears designed to induce self-censorship. Tech companies tend to make their content rules vague, keep part of them secret, and not inform users what exactly they did wrong. The result is that people try to guess the boundaries of the censorship themselves and are likely to cage themselves more tightly than the rules would require.
Adams is known to comment on news and politics from a mix of liberal and conservative perspectives. A trained hypnotist, his specialty is pinpointing and decoding persuasion methods, explaining how to use them as well as avoid being affected by them.
He said it looks like YouTube is already throttling his channel as “the monetization, everything for the channel just plunged.”
“I feel as if they’re pushing me to the situation where I will accidentally cancel myself and I’ll never know I did it. I’ll just be cancelled,” he said.
The deleted videos are his Jan. 3 live stream titled, “Episode 1240 Scott Adams: My Impression of Mayor Ted Wheeler Negotiating, China Bad, Election Audit,” and his Jan. 6 livestream titled, “Episode 1243 Scott Adams: Georgia Election Credibility and Where Do We Go From Here?”
His take on election fraud was that it’s likely widespread on both sides of the aisle because the reward is high, there are likely a lot of people willing to engage in it, and the chances of getting caught are low.
In the first video, he said there are “signals” and evidence that the election result was illegally affected, though he also acknowledged that he could be wrong.
In the second video, he called for more inquiry into certain allegations, but voiced skepticism about specific claims.
“It could be all of them, but at least 95 percent of the [voter fraud] claims are bogus,” he said.
He maintained his position that, judging from the election system setup alone, fraud does take place.
“Guaranteed your elections have been fraudulent all of your life, and probably longer, and you didn’t even notice,” he said.