On 3 March 2018, Google’s YouTube provided us with some good news, because we all need some these days. YouTube terminated Natural News including their whole library of videos. If you search for Natural News on YouTube, you cannot find it. If someone republished one of Natural News videos, it has disappeared. If you have some blog post with an embedded YouTube video with one of Mike Adams’ rants, it will not be there.
In 2017, Google quit indexing Natural News in its searches because of some violation of Google policy by Adams, aka the Health Ranger. We, the science supporters, cheered, as we consider Natural News (and ilk like it) to be at the very bottom of scientific evidence. We all had good fun with it, including the ecstatic Orac, who wrote,
I am, however, very much enjoying my schadenfreude, and will continue to do so as long as Adams’ site is delisted and he continues his tirades against Google and his victimhood conspiracies.
Of course, Adams whined and whined about it with some creative conspiracy theories, although everything we were able to gather about the situation, Natural News violated one of Google’s policies that aim to prevent gaming of search engine optimization. Eventually, Adams corrected the issue, and you could search Natural News again. If that’s your thing.
At least I enjoyed myself for a couple of days. Maybe I can enjoy a year after YouTube terminated Natural News. Maybe a couple of years? Maybe forever?
Mike Adams and Natural News
As I stated above, Mike Adams (the very first entry ever into the Encyclopedia of American Loons) runs Natural News, a website that pushes pseudoscience, fake cures, and outright misinformation. Adams is generally opposed to modern medicine, physicians, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, or anything science-based that might prevent or treat human diseases.
He is a germ theory denier, which means he rejects the scientific theory that many diseases are caused by microorganisms. Adams, without any evidence supporting his beliefs, rejects a scientific theory that has been a part of medical knowledge for a couple of centuries.
Adams constantly criticizes evidence-based medicine (and even more, science-based medicine), rejecting modern medicine as a scam between the government, Big Pharma, and the US healthcare system. Of course, evidence-based medicine does not depend on the government, Big Pharma, or the US healthcare system, it depends on unbiased scientific evidence – of course, he does.
On the other hand, Adams unquestionably accepts the appeal to nature, naturalistic fallacy, and alternative medicine. In other words, natural remedies, even those without any scientific basis like homeopathy, are good, while any real medicine is bad.
Mike Adams’ denier beliefs include just about every important fact about our modern world. He is an AIDS denier (meaning he doesn’t think that AIDS is caused by HIV). He is a 9/11 truther. He is an Obama birther. He thinks chemtrails exist. He has advocated violence against GMO supporters.
As David Gorski, MD Ph.D. summarized nearly perfectly on Science-Based Medicine (see Note 1),
Mike Adams, as regular readers may know, runs the website NaturalNews.com from deep in the jungles of Ecuador. His website is a one-stop shop, a repository if you will, of virtually every quackery known to humankind, all slathered with a heaping, helping of unrelenting hostility to science-based medicine and science in general. True, Mike Adams is not as big as, say, Joe Mercola, whose website, as far as I can tell, appears to draw more traffic than NaturalNews.com, but what Adams lacks in fame he makes up for in sheer crazy.
Mike Adams is all about fake news, a problem just as bad in science as it is in politics. And if you didn’t have enough reason to be disgusted by Adams, there’s this – he’s a Trump supporter. And he is a huge fan of Alex Jones of Info Wars fame (see Note 2).
Mike Adams whines
As you can expect, Adams, reporting from the mysterious forests of Ecuador, is unhappy. If our experience with his Google delisting a couple of years ago is any guide, he’ll be posting conspiracy theories every day. But here is his first one in response since YouTube terminated Natural News:
In the latest gross violation of free speech committed by radical left-wing tech giants, YouTube has now deleted the entire Health Ranger video channel, wiping out over 1,700 videos covering everything from nutrition, natural medicine, history, science and current events.
Over the last two weeks, YouTube has been on a censorship rampage that’s apparently run by the SPLC, a radical left-wing hate group that despises Christianity, the Second Amendment and patriots in particular. Hundreds of prominent conservative video channels have been targeted for termination by YouTube, leading many independent media leaders like myself to call for government regulation of YouTube to protect free speech and end the tyranny.
Yeah, he thinks the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a non-profit that fights for civil rights and against racism and white supremacy apparently controls Google and YouTube. You heard it here first. But wait, racist and neo-Nazi channels are abundant on YouTube, so I guess SPLC’s ownership of YouTube isn’t as strong as he claims. Imagine that?
Of course, Adams seems to fail to understand the whole concept of free speech. Google, through YouTube, provides a free service to all kinds of content providers to publish a video on just about every outlandish belief out there. I admit to subscribing to a lot of YouTube channels that provide interesting information about my hobbies and interests of mine. For example, there’s a young woman who creates the most amazing dominos art you will ever see.
But YouTube, a private company, is under no obligation to follow the precepts of free speech. Americans’ first amendment rights to free speech state that the government cannot abridge our right to free speech. However, it says nothing about what a corporation may or may not do censoring anyone they want (of course, within certain conditions). If YouTube thinks that Natural News is pushing fake news, and it does not want to provide support for it by allowing its content, that’s not a free speech violation. Unless you’re a crackpot who believes that Obama faked his birth certificate.
YouTube terminated Natural News – what we know
Anyway, it’s really not clear why YouTube has banned Natural News (other than listening to their overlords in the offices of the SPLC). Is it possible that Google is finally getting serious about fake news sites after the implication that it was manipulated by the Russians in the 2016 election?
In the screenshot I took above, YouTube is reporting that the account was “terminated.” In a direct link to the former NaturalNews YouTube channel (it can be found by Googling “natural news youtube,” and the channel appears as the first result), YouTube states in a red banner:
This account has been terminated for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.
I don’t know what that means to you the reader, but to me, it means dead and buried. Yes, I’m being optimistic, but it does sound kind of final. I also used a tool that estimates YouTuber earnings, and it could not find Natural News.
This also doesn’t mean that you can’t find some Mike Adams videos on YouTube. Some people unethically download and republish YouTube content for a variety of reasons. It’s possible that some YouTube channels will publish this downloaded content separate from Natural News, so you might find videos here and there.
I am cautiously optimistic that Google’s YouTube terminated Natural News – permanently! Mike Adams can still promote his pseudoscience through his website, but, at least for now, he can’t do it through YouTube. And this is probably the best news I’ve reported in a couple of years. This could mean that the real world news is depressingly bad or this news is so good your choice.
Stay tuned. If there’s a change in the fact that YouTube terminated Natural News, you’ll read it here. But for now, can we celebrate a little? A lot?
Oh, wait. You can still find him on Facebook. There goes my mojo.
Update 12 June 2019
When I was writing the article about Adams’ recent ban (not sure it’s permanent, but that’s what he claims) from Facebook, I wanted to check if he was still banned from YouTube. And he is:
This account has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy against spam, deceptive practices, and misleading content or other Terms of Service violations.
Of course, YouTube still hosts thousands of videos that pass along misinformation and outright lies about vaccines, cancer treatments, GMOs, and just about anything else that isn’t supported by scientific evidence. But removing his cargo cult science from YouTube (and Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and other platforms) along with an unflattering, but a highly accurate, article on Wikipedia, means that his form of junk science is relegated to the backwoods of the internet.
Now, if we could only remove the rest of the anti-vaccine, pseudoscience-loving, scam artists and liars on social media, maybe people will actually get accurate and life-saving information about vaccines, cancer treatment, and foods.
- Mike Adams loathes David Gorski with all of the power of the sun – it’s possible that the feelings are mutual. Of course, David Gorski is involved with all kinds of nefarious activities. But generally, Adams hates anyone who uses scientific evidence to support claims – something that Adams simply doesn’t understand.
- Unrelated to Mike Adams, YouTube has demonetized Alex Jones’ YouTube channel. This isn’t as bad as the apparent banning of Adams, but who knows what’s up at Google, which seems to be stomping down hard on fake news websites. As of 10 June 2022, InfoWars still appears to be on YouTube. I will not click on any videos to find out if they’re still demonetized.
This article was first published in March 2018. It’s been updated in light of Natural News being banned from Facebook. He’s run out of social media platforms for his steaming pile of bovine fecal material, so I can ignore him in peace.