|Photo by Daniel James|
YouTuber Ethan Ralph accused The Wall Street Journal of sabotaging a fundraiser he held in September to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
On September 29, the host of the popular YouTube show #Killstream utilized a new YouTube feature called “Super Chat” to fundraise for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The show, said to focus largely on free speech absolutism and “drama, news, and politics,” raised a total of $26,000 for the charity to support children battling cancer, according to Ralph.
I’m a long-time follower of Ralph’s who heard him planning the charity drive over multiple episodes of his show. This wasn’t a cynical attempt to own the libs. St. Jude is one of his favorite charities, and the #Healstream was legit. Yet the enemy’s hatred of dissent is such that they didn’t hesitate to bring the banhammer down on a man who raised nearly $30K for kids with cancer.
That’s life under the iron boot of an unaccountable tech cartel. Knowing that a hospital full of sick kids got a pile of money is some consolation, at least.
On Friday, Ralph reported that donors were receiving notification from YouTube that their donations from over a month prior had been refunded by St. Jude’s. Ralph asserted that the refunds were issued “due to pressure from The Wall Street Journal.” Though no article had yet been published, Ralph started the hashtag campaign #WSJKillsKids, noting the likely connection between the timing of article and refund of old donations.
YouTube originally responded to the reported comments by revoking Super Chat capabilities for Ralph’s channel and taking down individual episodes of the show, but later went further. The company confirmed Friday evening that they had permanently removed Ralph from the platform.
Koh’s original email to Ralph listed her deadline as 10 p.m. Thursday night, but the article was not published until late Friday evening. The published piece focused largely on Ralph and the events that unfolded after Koh contacted him, including returned donations and the removal of Ralph’s channel from YouTube. Koh reported that when she contacted St. Jude’s “earlier in the week,” she was informed that the organization “was aware of the chats and was making arrangements to reverse any donations.”
“We had no intention of receiving or accepting any of the funds associated with the live stream,” a St. Jude’s spokesperson told WSJ Friday.
In his Friday night live stream, which was hosted on an alternative website, Ralph said that he “didn’t believe” that St. Jude’s had plans to return the money before being contacted by WSJ.
“I think that we’ve been a thorn in the side of YouTube for quite some time,” Ralph told The Daily Caller. “Our show wasn’t really supposed to get as popular as it did, but we ended up regularly topping the live trending chart on the site even with all the obstacles they threw in our way.”
Ralph’s popularity certainly shook the YouTube hive. Can’t have any messages contrary to the Narrative gaining traction. Might upset the NPCs, you know.
Still, YouTube’s timing is suspect. They didn’t ban Ralph right after the #Healstream. Instead they waited for the backlash against St. Jude refunding donors’ SuperChat money.
What we may be seeing here is the enemy stepping up their tactics. The Right’s penchant for voting with their wallets, as in the Kellogg’s and Star Wars boycotts, combined with a tendency toward purity spirals, creates an opening a knowledgeable enemy can exploit.
In this case, #Killstream viewers looking to monetarily punish those responsible for Ralph’s ban find a children’s cancer charity in the lineup. It’s the closest I’ve seen the Left come to setting up a Xanatos gambit. If the Right withdraws support from all the implicated parties, kids with cancer pay a toll. If they limit their backlash to YouTube and the Wall Street Journal, they look inconsistent. If they do nothing, YouTube and the WSJ get away scot-free.
This could be a randomly emergent phenomenon–a blind squirrel finding a nut. Or the opposition could finally be taking a page from Sun Tzu. Pray it’s the former. The Left’s fear of leaving their bubble has been one of our biggest advantages.
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