Free speech is something that has always been taken for granted in America. We always assumed that we would have complete freedom over the words and ideas that we use on the internet or other publications, provided that it does not infringe or violate the rights of others.
But in our current political climate, where the confusion of the law, as well as political agendas, seem to be running rampant, some of these effects have trickled down to internet marketing. The primary targets currently seem to be conservative media where many top search engines and other entities are attempting to police what gets put in the searches and what does not.
This is a unique challenge that we face shortly because what one person thinks is conservative or questionable may seem perfectly rational to others.
The internet has been virtually unmonitored until recently when the key players with online web properties like YouTube and Facebook, as well as several major social media platforms, have decided to curb free speech to avoid conflict.
With a new President and others in control now, this will likely get back to normal soon through legislation and court actions that require a return to free speech, which is guaranteed by our First Amendment rights.
In the meantime, you may want to be aware of some caveats that you should know about so that you don’t fall victim to censorship with your ad campaigns.
Avoid political terminology in your ads.
One thing you will want to do to make sure you maintain your freedom of speech on Google right now in the light of the political chaos is to avoid using terms that might be considered political in nature. Just stick to your business ad strategies and talk about what you offer in your business. Speak to the consumer and assume that you may have a variety of people who come across your ads. Always keep your audience in mind knowing that you never truly know exactly who that is until you analyze the results later in Google Analytics.
Be aware of social media biases
Much misunderstanding of political ideas and unrest in the country has caused some social media platforms such as Reddit to come under scrutiny for censorship lately. This article about Reddit by Reason.com reveals that the founder of Reddit, Steve Huffman, recently came under scrutiny due to censoring posts that were about him to keep them from being seen.
This is the opposite of transparency and threatens to stifle the credibility of such social media sites that are supposed to stand for allowing freedom of expression.
Facebook has also come under attack recently especially by conservative groups who claim that their posts are being watched, censored, or deleted by Facebook’s security team.
Twitter has even threatened to ban positive comments made by Donald Trump, the new President of the United States. All of these things are disturbing in a country that is ruled by free speech and expression, and it has many businesses wondering if they will even be able to carry out their ad campaigns on Google, Facebook, and YouTube without a threat of censorship.
It is clear that political bias has gotten in the way of free speech this election year and has carried over into everyday business as well.
Censorship on the Web
YouTube users have reported that YouTube has deleted several videos and some user accounts have even been blocked due to the producers of the videos addressing certain truths in news or other information that YouTube thought would be offensive to others. This is highly out of the ordinary in a free country like the U.S., but hopefully, these platforms will turn away from this unethical practice of censorship without due cause.
To avoid getting caught in a web of gag orders on social media, you may want to review the terms of service or contact one of the administrators of the sites and ask them why your post was deleted or changed.
Keep your focus narrow.
When running ad campaigns for your brand on YouTube, try to keep your focus as narrow and specific as possible. When creating your videos, don’t try to address too many issues or topics at once. This will be confusing to your viewers anyway, and you should always stick to a primary topic when creating videos for your website or brand.
Think about the purpose of the video. Is it meant to be an informational video or a corporate video? Are you creating the video for your employees or your target audience? Your approach will vary depending on who you are talking to and what you wish to get across.
Choose search terms carefully.
One of the most important things you can do to keep from getting your ads deleted or censored is to choose your search terms carefully. Some search terms are getting banned because Google or YouTube feels they may create more political dissension or will insult someone.
So again, until things get ironed out regarding the free speech issues that are turned upside down in our country right now, you may want to steer clear of any terms that could be considered offensive or related to political ideas for the time being.
Stay away from news-related stories for now.
One of the primary ways YouTube users are getting their videos deleted is to address certain news stories or topics. Those especially prone to deletion are those who attempt to refute questionable news stories on mainstream media and try to tell the truth through YouTube video content.
Unless you are a news service or an independent journalist, it’s best to stick to your brand’s aspects and talk about what your company can do for people rather than to tell about world events. This will lower your chances of having your content deleted.
Youtube and Google will leave you alone as long as you don’t “get political.” Regardless of your political views in this challenging time for our country, it’s a best practice for businesses to refrain from political speech anyway since that is not the purpose of running a business online.
Allowing people to make up their mind about politics and sticking to your purpose for your brand marketing should keep you out of trouble with these platforms including YouTube, while the free speech issues are being worked out.
Many online publications paint a rather dim picture of the future of free speech in brand marketing. But I suspect that, if YouTube and Google don’t work out their issues with free speech soon, they will be replaced by even bigger platforms that will offer brand owners the freedoms they have always enjoyed in the United States of America.
In the meantime, contact us, and we will look at what you want to do with your brand marketing on YouTube and help you create a great video that will keep you out of hot water with the speech police.
Animatedvideo.com is a professional animated video company that is dedicated to creating a marketing video that will get the attention of your target audience and helps you make your impact in the world.
We look forward to hearing from you.