Then Hotep Jesus Bans YouTube
Any internet personality can tell you that navigating controversial subjects on major platforms is a lot like tip-toeing through a minefield. Since earlier this year, the Twitter Files has consistently shown us how far Big Tech social media giants will go to collude with government agencies in shutting down subject matter they deem "dangerous".
While proponents of these measures argue that the public needs to be shielded from information that could be "potentially harmful", others see themselves at the crossroads of a cultural shift. Does the First Amendment mean anything anymore? Or do governments have a right to encourage, demand or otherwise bully internet giants into shutting down not condoned speech?
Artfully dancing around these issues for some time now has been internet influencer and "social engineer" Bryan Sharpe, aka Hotep Jesus. He's managed to build a brand around talking about things you can't talk about and holding opinions you can't hold, but without (until now) any major consequences to his platform.
No stranger, to controversy, watch any amount of Hotep Jesus' content and you will see someone who is well-studied on the issues, but also in the art of communication. He manages to skillfully sidestep the censors (most of whom are bots or AI) through clever turns of phrase and non-offensive word selection.
However, luck seems to have caught up with Hotep Jesus. Today he was suspended from YouTube after hosting Dr. Peter McCullough on his channel and discussing Covid-19 treatment and vaccines in some detail.
If there's one thing we know about Mr. Sharpe, he barely treads into territory without much forethought. So we caught up with him to learn more about his style as a content creator, what motivated his recent controversy, and what's next for the Hotep Nation guru.
We're here today with Bryan Sharpe, aka Hotep Jesus. He is a content creator on YouTube, Twitter, and more recently Rumble. He's also appeared as a Fox News contributor and regular on Gutfeld!
Jev: Going through your history on YouTube I see quite a wide range and variance of content. You've covered financial news extensively. You've also co-hosted a relationship podcast. You co-host a weekly podcast called Hoteps Been Told You where you cover the week's major news stories. You are now doing a daily stream called the Grift Report covering the major news and politics. You've also delved into philosophy and spirituality. You've released several "meditations" on your YouTube channel covering general life outlooks and advice. You've authored three books: Unbreakable Rules of Masculinity, Dominate Twitter, and The Patriot Report - Unmasking the Conspiracy of Money and War... That's a great variety of subject matter. So my question is, how do you describe yourself as a content creator and your purpose? What do you see as your responsibility to your particular audience?
HJ: I'm not sure I see myself as a "content creator." Obviously, I create content but many content creators spend hours trying to curate and distribute their content. I don't. I focus on having a sound message and relying on word-of-mouth for promotion. My passion is in shifting and creating culture. I love seeding my audience with good habits and watching it spread.
If you want fast growth in my space, politics, and current events, you should go hard right or hard left wing. I don't do that. So, my growth isn't as fast as others. But I believe that's what makes my audience more loyal and potent.
There's a large chunk of the population that's exhausted of the hard right and hard left stances. They are looking for more nuance in these conversations. They want someone to call it down the middle. And that's my responsibility to my audience.
Jev: Many YouTubers or so-called "alternative media" claim they are free from the interests and restrictions of advertisers and corporate employers - but even they can't deny their content must be primarily tailored to keep the support of whichever audience watches them and donates to their channel. Have you noticed any majority demographic that comprises your audience, or is it more varied? Why do you think that is? And do you feel the pressure of your audience to continue creating content they want to see versus content you want to create?
HJ: I can't pinpoint an exact demographic. Obviously, my analytics points to males 25-35 in the US, but the analytics don't exactly paint a picture of what's in people's minds. I think what happens is, people, have a natural curiosity and always seek for more. So, after they've heard all of the talking points spewed ad infinitum from their favorite content creator they start looking for more.
And that leads them to Hotep. A friend explained this to me some years ago. Some content creators actually get ears and minds prepared to hear my message. They get prepped and primed.
Maybe my message would be too much of a shock without this intermediate phase.
Jev: So let's talk about some of your recent videos. The other day you had on Dr. Peter McCullough - who has been a very controversial figure because of some of his views on Covid-19 treatment, particularly the mRNA vaccines. I'm sure you are well versed in YouTube's community guidelines on this issue and yet you chose to host him anyway. Why?
HJ: My producer suggested that this be a Rumble exclusive. But I've had other guests who I thought were much more controversial than Dr. McCullough. I figured we would do the live stream then I would make the interview members-only and therefore we would be safe from censorship.
Apparently, you can't even have member-only exclusive content that goes against YouTube guidelines. YouTube had previously said that you can criticize the pandemic response and be critical of the vaccine. However, following my suspension I reviewed the TOS.
Basically, you can't say anything bad about WHO. And Dr. McCullough did exactly that. Maybe it was that one infraction or maybe it's the doctor's name. I think it's probably a combination of both.
Jev: You must've had some inkling that your channel would be hit by the YouTube czars. From what I've seen, you've in the past been very careful about stepping around the community guidelines - even speaking in a sort of "code language" to avoid strikes. What changed that you would take this risk for the McCullough interview?
HJ: I've had many controversial guests on the channel that I deemed way more controversial than Dr. McCullough. I thought he would be light in comparison. I actually didn't see the strike coming. This also wasn't my first strike. I got one last year for playing an ad by a black Republican.
Jev: What do you think was covered in that interview that was the particular violation of community guidelines resulting in your suspension?
HJ: The good doc contradicts the WHO (World Health Organization). That is apparently against YouTube TOS.
This to me is a demonstration of globalist power to control messaging. An international body decides what is and is not science. Being a US citizen is negated. You must follow the science according to Big Tech which follows Globalism.
Jev: I have the YouTube Community Guidelines here and they are rather lengthy, but the gist seems to be that ANY information standing in contradiction to the World Health Organization or "local health authorities" (they don't specify who they mean by that) is subject to removal. As a researcher - and I've read The Patriot Report, so I know it as one of your fortes - what do you know about the individual people that make up the WHO, and in your opinion are they worthy of wielding this sort of unquestionable authority?
HJ: I don't know who works for WHO, I never cared to look it up and probably won't because it doesn't matter. These individuals are merely agents for the money. Their names and identities are interchangeable. The only names that matter are the ones injecting money into it.
Are they worthy of weilding this authority? Based upon their mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic, I would have to say no. They didn't follow the science. They followed the agenda.
Jev: How has this suspension changed your approach to content, and do you see yourself continuing on YouTube going forward?
HJ: I felt speech-restricted on YouTube which hurt my flow of thought. But on Rumble I'm uncensored and able to give more honest and raw feedback on the issues at hand. I am more me.
Also, on YouTube my account would grow very slowly. Some days I lost more subscribers than I gained. Many supporters think I'm shawdow-banned on YouTube.
But over on Rumble, the channel gets featured on the homepage. With 84,000 subscribers on YouTube I usually get about 300 live viewers. But on Rumble I get 300 live viewers with only ~2,500 subs. There's obviously something wrong here.
My subs have complained that YouTube never sent out notifications for my streams even when they have notifications turned on.
Since, my YouTube account is not completely banned I'll turn it into a clips channel since that's what their algorithm prefers anyway.
Jev: Do you have any final thoughts on YouTube, your suspension, or their Terms of Service? And where can people find you moving forward?
HJ: More content creators should leave YouTube. We are its cash cow. Without us there is no YouTube. We should go where the corporation will nurture our accounts, not limit them.
Because of the mass-adoption of YT, we often think that we are forced to use their platform if we want reach. But sometimes niche websites grow your brand faster because there is less competition and the audience is more clearly defined. For my kind of content, Rumble is the platform.
If YouTube is going to demonetize nearly all of my videos and limit my reach, why would I stay there. My growth is being stagnated. I think my brand will 10x by the end of the year on Rumble because I don't have the platform holding me back but instead the platform has my back.
Soon, YouTube will be nothing more than a destination for DIY projects like sweater knitting. All of the great content will be on other platforms.