The fact that Twitter is no longer allowing video links from these sites was first discovered by independent journalist Tim Pool. In a tweet, Pool tried linking to a couple of Bitchute videos, only to find out that they didn't work.
Trying to share and embed any links from Bitchute or Brighteon now causes Twitter to throw up a generic error message saying “Something went wrong, but don't fret.”
Bitchute and other alternative video platforms have grown in influence for hosting videos that have been blocked from mainstream platforms. Numerous videos that have been removed from YouTube or even Twitter are still available to watch on these platforms.
So far, the blocking only seems to prevent new Bitchute and Brighteon videos from being shared. Any existing tweets with links to alternative video sites still have their links working correctly. However, clicking on those links still brings up a warning from Twitter, claiming that the links are unsafe.
“The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially spammy or unsafe, in accordance with Twitter's URL policy,” the message states.
Twitter has yet to make a statement on why it has decided to block links from alternative video sites. A report from Big League Politics, however, speculates that the company may have done it at the behest of Hope Not Hate, the U.K.-based activist organization that lobbies Big Tech to censor their political rivals.
“Major social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter should ban the sharing of Bitchute links on their platform, thereby significantly reducing the impact of this extreme and dangerous material,” writes the group in their blog about Bitchute.
“Law enforcement investigate Bitchute for distribution of content that breaks British law, including terrorism legislation,” the group adds. “The Government should introduce an Online Harms Bill that includes meaningful consequences for bespoke platforms such as Bitchute that host, promote or distribute terrorism, extremist and hateful content.”
If Hope Not Hate is behind Twitter's blocking of Bitchute and Brighteon, then it wouldn't be the first time that a tech giant has bowed down to pressure from a leftist group at the expense of conservative media.
Last June, it came out that Google had demonetized Zero Hedge (and threatened the Federalist with the same) at the behest of another U.K.-based liberal group called the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).
Both groups have worked together with Hope Not Hate founder Nick Lowles actually endorsing the CCDH. More importantly, both groups have successfully engaged in efforts to have websites and individuals who disagree with their agenda deplatformed.
In April 2019, Hope Not Hate published a blog titled “Deplatforming Works: Let’s Get On With It.” While the blog tries to pay lip service to how deplatforming goes against free speech, it goes on to explain how doing so is actually better as it has an “enormous effect” in curtailing the influence of those who were deplatformed.
“However, it is possible to value and uphold freedom of speech and expression while simultaneously calling for the removal of dangerous extremists from social media platforms,” the blog claimed. “We must not confuse their right to say what they please (within the law) with their right to say it wherever they please: a right they do not have.”
What's more alarming is the support that these organizations get within the U.K. and the U.K. government itself. While Hope Not Hate claims to not receive any government funding, it has received support from politicians, including both former and current ministers of parliament. The CCDH, on the other hand, all but flaunts its links to the government, counting among its numbers individuals linked to the U.K. Labour Party including some who are close to current Labour leader Kier Starmer, as well as to his predecessor, Gordon Brown. (Related: Election meddling? UK gov't-linked group is responsible for Google's demonetization of conservative sites.)
The connections that these groups have raise questions of just how much they're being used as political tools of those in the Left. Could these groups simply be using their platforms of “stopping online hate” to censor the Left's critics and put them in power?
Learn more about how the Left is trying to silence conservative voices at Censorship.news.