CST Blog

BitChute – a case study in how not to run a social media platform

12 September 2023

When your line of work involves identifying spaces online where antisemitism is thriving, it’s not long before you end up at the digital doors of BitChute, the UK-based video sharing platform. Recent reports suggest that BitChute is trying to raise $10m in new investment to fund an expansion of their business. Yet new research conducted by CST has found that BitChute, which functions in a similar way to the much larger YouTube, continues to host vast quantities of antisemitic material, as well as the channels of several extremist and antisemitic figureheads and content creators. Furthermore, CST has found that whilst BitChute does geo-block some incitement to hatred on their site to limit availability in some countries in order to comply with their legal duties in those jurisdictions, they simultaneously advertise VPNs that help users to bypass exactly those blocks.

Three years ago CST published a report entitled ‘Hate Fuel’ that explored the prevalence of extreme right-wing material across four alternative social media platforms, BitChute being one of them. At the time, our research showed that BitChute hosted reams of antisemitic content, as well as illegal terrorist material. Regarding the latter, BitChute has seemingly cleaned up its act, something to be welcomed. However, BitChute’s problem with extremism and antisemitism has not gone away. Nor has its problem with conspiracy theories, homophobia, racism, and a vast array of other hateful material that is still readily available on the platform.

BitChute is currently home to several antisemitic and extremist content creators, many of whom have been removed from other social media sites. For example, BitChute continues to host the channel of Brother Nathanael, a US-based antisemitic agitator who dedicates his time to creating deeply antisemitic video content. As of 8 September 2023, Nathanael’s BitChute channel has over 27,000 subscribers and over 4.4 million cumulative views.

His videos include titles such as:

  • How Jews Talk, Dance, And Kill
  • DeSantis Caves To The Jews
  • Jewish Democracy For Dumb Goys
  • When Jews Run A Country
  • The Jews Who Tranny You
  • Zelensky…CNN's New Jew Darling

BitChute also hosts US white-supremacist Nick Fuentes. Fuentes recently courted controversy for stating ‘we will make them die in a holy war’, seemingly referring to Jews. Fuentes’ channel on BitChute has over 5400 subscribers and over 260,000 views. Video titles on Fuentes channel include:

  • Gays and Jews Are Problematic
  • The Significance of the JQ[1]
  • ISRAEL KILLED JFK??? Joe Biden EXPOSES Mossad Role In Kennedy Assassination
  • Explaining the Jewish Mafia
  • College is WORSE than the Holocaust

BitChute hosts the channel of Adam Green, an antisemitic podcaster who has previously promoted antisemitic 9/11 conspiracy theories, amongst others. Green’s BitChute channel, which has the same title as his podcast – ‘Know More News’ - has over 35,000 subscribers and over 6.9 million cumulative views. Video titles on his channel include:

  • Judeo Matrix Agents & Jewish Prophecy Deception EXPOSED
  • Jewish Kosher Money
  • Easter Hangover & Jewish Blood Magic Cult
  • Chosen by God to be Hated & Responsible for the World, Hate Speech Anti-Semitism Laws
  • Meet the Jewish 'Secret Agents' Who Created Christianity to Conquer Rome
  • Christianity is Jewish Controlled Opposition Religion
  • The Jewish Plan to Conquer the Gentiles & Rule the World exposed

BitChute also currently hosts the channel of UK far right activist and former British National Party activist, Mark Collet. Collet’s BitChute channel has 23,000 subscribers and over 3 million cumulative views. Video titles on his channel include:

  • Jewish Leaders want us BANNED
  • Jewish Money Saved as Diversity Kills Bank
  • UKRAINE - Jews Flee, Whites Die
  • The Collapse of FTX & Jewish Victimhood
  • Global Sports - A Tool of Judeo-American Colonialism

Collet recently did an interview with the militant Scandinavian neo-Nazi group, Nordic Resistance Movement, who are currently banned in Finland. BitChute blocked access to the video in the UK; however Collett is using BitChute to advertise a link to it on another alternative video sharing platform, Odysee, even though the Nordic Resistance Movement are currently on BitChute’s ‘prohibited entities list’. This begs the question why, when coupled with the reams of hateful, racist content on Collett’s BitChute channel, do BitChute still provide a platform to him?

CST also conducted wider research into the prevalence and accessibility of antisemitic content available on the platform through BitChute’s search functionality.

As of 8 September, searching from the UK for the term ‘Jewish’ on BitChute returns 6,515 results. CST analysed the first 500 search results by assessing the video title, thumbnail, description (only the part of the description presented in the search results) and the channel name. Using these indicators, CST found that 361 out of the 500 videos could confidently be described as likely to be explicitly antisemitic. The vast majority of the remaining videos in these search results were likely to have been posted within an antisemitic context, even if they were not explicitly antisemitic themselves. CST found only a tiny handful of these videos were anything approaching positive content about Jewish-related topics.

CST carried out a similar assessment regarding the search term ‘Jews’. This term returned 9,234 results as of 8 September. CST found that 346 out of the first 500 search results could be described as likely to be explicitly antisemitic. Like above, many of the rest of the results also appear to have been posted in an antisemitic context.

Finally, CST conducted a search for the term ‘Judaism’. This term returned 1,627 results as of 8 September. CST found that 251 out of the first 500 search results could confidently be assessed as likely to be explicitly antisemitic. This represents over half of the videos. Many of the others represented content that was more generally critical of Judaism as a religion, as opposed to explicitly antisemitic.

These results should not be viewed in isolation but as representative of the type of content that is hosted on the platform. Despite BitChute’s desire to be viewed and treated like any other social media platform, they are for all intent and purposes acting as video repository for extreme antisemitic videos that seek to demonise Jewish people. None of this even begins to take into account the reams of other hateful content or conspiracy theories on other topics that proliferate on the site.

What about some good news? As of writing this blog, BitChute continues to geo-block content on their site. This means that users located in certain jurisdictions, like the UK or across the EU, are unable to access certain types of content, including content categorised as ‘incitement to hatred’. This move by BitChute would have largely come as a result of their legal responsibility to comply with the EU’s Digital Services Act and the UK’s video-sharing platform (VSP) regime, regulated by Ofcom.

Good news, right? Well, despite geo-blocking content on their site, BitChute continues to advertise virtual private networks (VPNs) on their site, thereby giving users the capacity to bypass their own restrictions. It’s like locking the door to your house but advertising on the front door that the key is under the doormat. It’s ludicrous and shows complete contempt for their legal duties. This includes being able to access video content that celebrates far-right terrorists including the Pittsburgh and Christchurch attackers. It begs the question as to why BitChute are happy to merely block material that celebrates terrorists, as opposed to removing it completely.

BitChute advertising VPNs on their site:

This is not the only piece of evidence that shows that BitChute are unserious players. Just recently one of BitChute’s Twitter accounts retweeted a video promoting content from E. Michael Jones, described by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as ‘an antisemitic Traditionalist Catholic writer and podcaster who promotes the view that Jews are dedicated to propagating and perpetrating attacks on the Catholic Church, as well as moral standards, social stability and political order throughout the world’. Video titles on Jones’ own BitChute channel include ‘Auschwitz and Abortion’, ‘Why It's Easier to Talk to a Robot Than to a Jew’, ‘Jewish Methods of Subversion’, ‘the Jewish War In Ukraine’ and ‘Ireland Fought Jewish Infiltration More Than Most Nations... Until Now’. The description under the video entitled ‘Auschwitz and abortion’ is given as:

 ‘Dr. Jones describes the purpose of the holocaust narrative. It's a global psyop used to manipulate the masses into submitting to Jewish political control. Everything from abortion to the Palestinian geocide is repeatedly justified using the holocaust as it's battering ram. What else do you expect from a religious group that believes killing Christ was a moral good?’

This goes beyond BitChute being a neutral host of hateful content: it shows BitChute itself actively spreading such material on Twitter.

This is not a case of material simply causing offence, or a question of censoring political discussion. The danger regarding BitChute and similar platforms stems from the proliferation of vast quantities of deeply antisemitic material and the resulting real world impact and harms that can result from it. At its most extreme, such material radicalises users down a path towards violence. Extreme right wing terrorist attacks in Pittsburgh, Christchurch, El Paso, Halle and Buffalo to name but a few are testament to this. Each came with a distinct online element, not least some where the actual acts of violence were livestreamed online. This makes BitChute’s own decision to eventually introduce livestreaming to their platform in the future deeply worrying, not least because of their poor and clearly ineffective content moderation capacity. If they are unable to moderate their current video content, it raises deep concerns over their ability to moderate livestreamed content. Ofcom’s report into the livestreamed Buffalo attack demonstrated not only the dangers associated with livestreaming capacity, but also the immense challenges that come with moderating it. There is no evidence to suggest that BitChute is anywhere near close enough equipped to effectively moderate livestreaming functionality on their platform.

From the perpetration of hate crimes and hateful abuse online, to the wider impact on political discourse and community cohesion, sites like BitChute play a role in providing the ideological and material fuel that damages our society, while drawing in vulnerable individuals and exposing them to large quantities of harmful video material. Content moderation is no easy task, however when harmful content is staring you in the face like it is on BitChute, there is no good reason to allow its continued proliferation. If BitChute want to be a genuine and respected alternative to mainstream video sharing sites, then they need to clean their act up.

[1] JQ is a reference to the ‘Jewish Question’

All the findings contained in this article are accurate as of 8 September 2023. 

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