Palmer Luckey, the founder of groundbreaking tech company Oculus, has claimed that YouTube is automatically deleting comments critical of the Chinese Communist Party’s online propaganda division.
“YouTube has deleted every comment I ever made about the Wumao (五毛), an internet propaganda division of the Chinese Communist Party. Who at Google decided to censor American comments on American videos hosted in America by an American platform that is already banned in China?” Luckey wrote on Twitter.
Luckey went on to note that the new YouTube policy was automatic, and affected anyone who dared even mention the Wumao network.
“This appears to be a new global policy on YouTube, not directed at me specifically,” he continued. “Try saying anything negative about the 五毛, or even mentioning them at all. Your comment will last about 30 seconds and get deleted without warning or notice, CCP-censor style. To what end?”
He called on the mainstream media to cover this story and pointed out that they had ignored it so far.
“It will be interesting to see if this gets any mainstream media coverage over the coming days and weeks,” he said. “Nothing so far.”
A few Republican members of Congress came out in support of Luckey against Chinese censorship.
“I’d like to know the answer to this, Google,” wrote Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), referring to the parent company of YouTube.
“This is very disturbing. Why is Google/YouTube censoring Americans on behalf of the CCP?” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) added. “This is WRONG & Big Tech is drunk with power. The Sherman Act prohibits abusing monopoly power. DOJ needs to stop this NOW.”
Wumao, or 50-Cent Party, refers to a group of web-users paid to make pro-Chinese Communist Party comments on controversial and divisive issues. According to a research paper from Harvard University, the 50-Cent Party produces an estimated 488 Million pro-Communist Party posts on Chinese social media each year. According to a May 2018 report in Foreign Policy, the members of Wumao “are mostly bureaucrats already on the public payroll, responding to government directives at a time of heightened tension to flood social media with pro-government cheerleading.”