BitChute

BitChute is a video hosting service known for accommodating far-right individuals and conspiracy theorists.[7] The platform was created in 2017 to allow video uploaders to avoid content rules enforced on YouTube,[8] and some creators who have been banned or had their channels barred from receiving advertising revenue ("demonetized") on YouTube have migrated to BitChute.[2] The Southern Poverty Law Center has said the site hosts "hate-fueled material".[9]

BitChute
A tilted black square with white text reading "BIT", followed by red text reading "CHUTE"
Type of site
Online video platform
Available inEnglish
HeadquartersNewbury, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
Created byRay Vahey
URLbitchute.com
Alexa rankIncrease 2,864 (June 29, 2020)[1]
RegistrationOptional
LaunchedJanuary 2017; 3 years ago (2017-01)
Current statusActive

At launch, the site described itself as using peer-to-peer WebTorrent technology.[8] As of November 2019, The Daily Dot questioned whether end-user peer-to-peer sharing was actually in use.[10]

History

The company was launched by Ray Vahey in January 2017.[3] BitChute does not rely on advertising, and users can send payments to video creators directly.[11]

In November 2018, BitChute was banned from PayPal[12][13] alongside Alex Jones, the Proud Boys, Tommy Robinson, and several anti-fascist groups.[12]

In January 2019, BitChute announced in a post on Gab that they would move their domains over to Epik, a small domain registrar known for accepting the registration of websites that host far-right content.[9][14]

Content

BitChute has been described as accommodating far-right groups and individuals,[7] with the Southern Poverty Law Center claiming it hosts "hate-fueled material".[9] YouTube has banned or demonetized some right-wing channels over the inclusion of alleged hate speech and misinformation.[2] At the time of the site's launch, Vahey described BitChute as an alternative to avoid these restrictions, which he said was "increased levels of censorship" by established platforms.[8] The far-right conspiracy theory channel InfoWars migrated to BitChute after being banned by YouTube.[3] Prominent far-right and alt-right video creators who have cross-posted to both YouTube and BitChute include Lauren Southern, Stefan Molyneux, Millennial Woes, and Paul Joseph Watson.[2][4]

The site allows a video classification tag of not safe for work (NSFW) where content would generally be considered inappropriate for a family or workplace setting; and a not safe for life (NSFL) setting for extreme or strongly questionable content that may cause psychological trauma if viewed.[15][16]

Technology

Since launch, the site has promoted its use of the peer-to-peer technology WebTorrent as a means to decentralize hosting and reduce costs.[8][17]

An analysis conducted by Fredrick Brennan in November 2019, published in The Daily Dot, failed to find any evidence of peer-to-peer data transfer in BitChute's videos; all videos Brennan downloaded came directly from BitChute's servers, with no part of the videos received from peers. According to Brennan, magnet links on the site don't work. Brennan challenged BitChute's use of the word "delist" to describe deplatforming users, saying that the wording is misleading in that it makes BitChute seem falsely similar to BitTorrent (where a site maintains one "list" of content, but independent trackers may be created as well), when in reality BitChute is just deleting a user's videos from the BitChute site.[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Bitchute.com Traffic, Demographics and Competitors - Alexa". Alexa Internet. Archived from the original on June 29, 2020.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Daro, Ishmael N.; Lytvynenko, Jane (April 18, 2018). "Right-Wing YouTubers Think It's Only A Matter Of Time Before They Get Kicked Off The Site". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Schroeder, Audra (November 2, 2018). "Far-right conspiracy vloggers have a new home". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on May 4, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Tani, Maxwell (September 22, 2017). "'There's no one for right-wingers to pick a fight with': The far right is struggling to sustain interest in its social media platforms". Business Insider. Archived from the original on December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  5. ^ Robertson, Adi (October 9, 2017). "Two months ago, the internet tried to banish Nazis. No one knows if it worked". The Verge. Archived from the original on April 4, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2019. Alt-tech services include alternatives to Reddit (Voat), Patreon (Hatreon), Twitter (Gab), GoFundMe (GoyFundMe), and YouTube (BitChute)
  6. ^ Livni, Ephrat (May 12, 2019). "Twitter, Facebook, and Insta bans send the alt-right to Gab and Telegram". Quartz. Archived from the original on May 24, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019. The far right have plenty of places to go when they are no longer welcome on mainstream platforms—like Parler, Minds, MeWe, and BitChute, among others.
  7. ^ a b [2][3][4][5][6]
  8. ^ a b c d Maxwell, Andy (January 29, 2017). "BitChute is a BitTorrent-Powered YouTube Alternative". TorrentFreak. Archived from the original on December 9, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Hayden, Michael Edison (January 11, 2019). "A Problem of Epik Proportions". Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on January 12, 2019. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Brennan, Fredrick (November 27, 2019). "Bitchute claims to be a decentralized platform—that's not true". Daily Dot. Archived from the original on November 28, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  11. ^ Alexander, Julia (March 7, 2018). "Controversial YouTubers head to alternative platforms in wake of 'purge'". Polygon. Archived from the original on May 4, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Blake, Andrew (November 14, 2018). "BitChute, YouTube alternative, cries foul over apparent punt from PayPal". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  13. ^ Newton, Casey (November 15, 2018). "Facebook has a growing morale problem". The Verge. Archived from the original on May 4, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019. ... the front page was littered with videos about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Pizzagate. It’s unclear what the final straw was.
  14. ^ Martineau, Paris (November 6, 2018). "How Right-Wing Social Media Site Gab Got Back Online". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  15. ^ Farmer, Eric (June 28, 2019). "What Is BitCHUTE?". TurboFuture. Archived from the original on September 17, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  16. ^ "Reddit Basics". reddit.zendesk.com. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  17. ^ Computing Forever (March 7, 2018). Interview with Ray Vahey of Bitchute (YouTube video). Event occurs at 8:01. Archived from the original on September 16, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2019.