David Pinsen writes: Last week, I wrote that Alphabet (GOOG), (GOOGL) had an inauspicious weekend, mainly due to the news that the U.S. Department of Justice was preparing an antitrust investigation into it. You would think that Alphabet’s Google would have wanted to lay low after that, but instead its YouTube subsidiary “demonetized” a number of right-leaning channels, most prominently Steven Crowder’s, as Fox New’s Tucker Carlson discussed with journalist Glenn Greenwald in the video below (videos are normally monetized on YouTube via ads, enabling both the video’s creators and YouTube to profit).
The focus at Seeking Alpha is on investing, rather than politics, so I don’t want to dwell too much on the politics here, except to note that Glenn Greenwald is on the left politically, and dislikes Crowder, but opposes YouTube’s actions on principle. The investment-specific issue here is that Google’s actions are increasing the company’s risk by drawing further antitrust scrutiny and possibly exposing it to shareholder litigation, as I elaborate below.
YouTube’s demonetization wasn’t limited to Crowder: Smaller channels were hit too, including Luke Ford’s as Ford mentions below (coincidentally, I had mentioned Ford’s channel to Seeking Alpha’s CEO as an example of the potential of the medium, at a meeting in April).