For a while now, I and many others in Sweden have been spammed with content from a new alt-right channel every time we get on YouTube. I’ve clicked ‘hide this ad’ every single time and checked in that I don’t want to see this channel in my suggestions anymore. To no avail. Time and time again I am met with fascist hate speech when I get on YouTube. It’s gotten to the point where I avoid using the website at all.
The channel, called ‘Riks’, is a propaganda channel for the fascist Sweden Democrats. And yes, despite their protest to the contrary, the Sweden Democrats are in fact a fascist party born out of the white power movement active in the early 90’s and was founded by Nazis, including a former SS-soldier. Please don’t assume I’m one to through words like ‘Nazi’ and ‘fascist’ around for dramatic effect. SD was and is a fascist party. They just decided to switch their skinhead outfits for suits and tone down their hate propaganda, hoping that it would make them more palatable for the average Swedish voters.
Unfortunately, their plan worked and they are now the third largest party in the country. They have used that power to fight against human rights and spread more hate. Their mask of respectability and ‘democracy’ is a slippery one that often falls off to reveal the party’s true fascist nature. Whether they’re claiming national minorities like Jews and Samis can’t be counted as Swedes, voting in favour of forcibly sterilizing trans people or supporting the terrorist violence of the January 6th capitol attacks, their politicians always eventually show the true intents of the Sweden ‘Democrats’.
(There are far more examples than the three I mentioned but that would be like listing every single lie Donald Trump has ever told and I just don’t have the time to sit and write a post for a week straight.)
Now, I already know that SD is a dangerous shit party. But what I want to know is: why is YouTube helping them spread their lies?
And please don’t say ‘free speech’. This isn’t a free speech issue. I’m not saying Sweden Democrats should be arrested or prosecuted by the state for their opinions, even if their opinions is evil garbage. Free speech means you are allowed to express your opinions without legal persecution. It doesn’t mean you have a fundamental human right to have a private company publish your ads. YouTube is under no legal obligation to help spread SD propaganda. But they do.
So, why exactly is YouTube prioritising ad money over the experience of their users? Why do they care more about ad money than the experience of LGBTQ+ people and people of colour who have to get on the website and see lies from people who hate them? I’ve tried to contact YouTube to find out but it turns out it’s a lot harder to contact them than I thought. I also suspect they wouldn’t care about some average Joe’s opinion.
Hopefully more people will speak up about this issue and demand an explanation from YouTube. If it starts to negatively affect their brand, maybe they’ll start giving a shit.