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BitChute

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BitChute is a semi-decentralized, "free speech" version of YouTube with the intended purpose of allowing the alt-right to host illegal content and hate speech that got banned from everywhere else. It uses peer-to-peer WebTorrent technology to try and appear cool, and make it slightly more difficult to censor, even though any internet censorship body could censor it regardless. For example by restricting the domain. Due to BitChute's extremely offensive content, it has been repelling almost every payment processing provider and hosting service, and no advertisers will even consider advertising on it. Because of this, it's advertising-free, and mostly funded through donations.

It was founded by Ray Vahey in January 2017 as a platform for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and alt-right trolls who had been banned or demonetized on YouTube to carry on posting rubbish to their demented fans. The platform is still mainly composed of far-right hate merchants and conspiracy theorists, with some random terrorist content, pro-gun videos, and the inevitable pro-Trump propaganda also to be found in large quantities. The Southern Poverty Law Center has described the site as hosting "hate-fueled material".[1]

Technical details[edit]

BitChute says that it uses a JavaScript-based peer-to-peer WebTorrent system run locally in a web browser. Everyone using the platform theoretically contributes to its running via this torrenting format. In practice, most or all videos are instead hosted directly by Bitchute.[2] BitChute does not have advertising, because its content is so toxic that no advertiser will touch it.

To avoid having their domain name suspended, BitChute uses the Epik registrar, well known for hosting far-right sites.

BitChute viewers can send payments to video creators directly. However, as a hate site BitChute has a poor track record with payment service providers, having been banned from using PayPal and other platforms.

Content[edit]

The main content on BitChute is content that is banned from YouTube because it is either far-right propaganda, hate speech, and illegal content. MAGA, conservative, and pro-Trump content is commonly hosted there (when the neo-Nazi brigade isn't accusing Trump of being a Zionist shill). Shock content is regularly hosted on the platform, and it has hosted the Christchurch shooting video and other terrorist content.

The BitChute video classification tag of not safe for work (NSFW) and a not safe for life (NSFL) setting for extreme or strongly questionable content, much of which is illegal in numerous countries.

Prominent far-right and alt-right video creators who are not banned from YouTube cross-post their videos to BitChute, including Lauren Southern, Stefan Molyneux, and Paul Joseph Watson. The fact that these people are far from the most extreme users on BitChute should tip you off to how fucking awful this site is. A small number of normal content creators have also moved onto BitChute due to Youtube's incompetent and inconsistent moderation, although they are rapidly buried under an endless flood of alt-right bullshit.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Michael Edison Hayden, A Problem of Epik Proportions. Southern Poverty Law Center, 11 January 2019.

    Now, [domain registrar Epik] has picked up the business of BitChute, a low-rent YouTube clone that carries an array of hate-fueled material, including white nationalist podcasts, propaganda linked to a murderous neo-Nazi group and a parody song called "N----- Babies," which chortles at the idea of slaughtering and then eating black infants.

  2. Bitchute claims to be a decentralized platform—that’s not true - Daily Dot. November 27, 2019
    8chan's remorseful and/or disgruntled founder Frederick Brennan investigated the site's claims for Daily Dot, and found no evidence of peer-to-peer file sharing. On Twitter, Brennan mentions that some live-streaming might be peer-to-peer. BitChute responded by telling Brennan that "a change" is coming any day now, without meaningfully addressing any of Brennan's points.