With over thirty deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, former counterterrorism officer Drew Berquist knows a thing or two about the real world. After all, he has experienced government, the intelligence community and foreign countries (enemies and allies alike) up close and personal. Still, despite his experiences and views, he brings a common sense, everyday American approach to his content. His mantra, among others, is “you do you.”
The sentiment behind the statement is precisely how it sounds. While Berquist, of course, has his own views and interpretations of laws, policy and social issues, he frequently tells his audience that he is fine with a great number of opinions, so long as people on the opposite side are open to disagreement and reasonable discourse, i.e. “I won’t tell you how to think, and you don’t tell me how to think.”
However, that approach has gotten the show host in hot water with big tech. Despite sharing what we, and most listeners, view as a steady dose of common sense and fairness, albeit blunt, YouTube, Facebook and others have targeted the rising conservative influencer and shuttered his reach to a near non-existent level.
Berquist who hosted a show on Glenn Beck’s BlazeTV, One America News Network (OANN) and has reinvigorated his growing audience with Drew Berquist Live as an independent content creator has faced stiff opposition from big tech giants. After a hiatus from television, Berquist returned with his own site and immediately saw dramatic growth, earning upward of 2,000 new subscribers on YouTube alone per day.
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His viewership was on a constant and dramatic incline, and subsequently so too was revenue. That is until YouTube caught on.
Serving as his biggest audience, reaching approximately 458,000 subscribers, YouTube shuttered his views and began removing subscribers to boot. Despite the typical 500-2000 subscriber growth per day, the channel began to incrementally lose followers day after day, with thousands of users reporting they had been unsubscribed without notice or being able to make the decision on their own.
Concurrently, YouTube ceased recommending videos to the community and has not notified individuals that chose to receive notifications, severely diminishing views for the channel, and thus earnings.
“We were in a sweet spot, that was growing, where we would have both clips and episodes earn anywhere from 50,000 to 500,000 views per video. Sure, there were some that did less, but the trend was extremely positive. Then one month prior to the [presidential] election they shut the faucet off and we are now lucky to get two or three thousand views per video…if that,” said Berquist when asked about his experience.
“It’s beyond frustrating and demoralizing that an organization can have so much power and dictate so much of your and others’ lives, but it also demonstrates to us that we are making an impact. We wouldn’t be targeted if we weren’t. They simply hate that we were reaching a ton of people, have differing views and they were having to pay us for it. So it stopped.”
Without going into specifics, Berquist eluded to months that were approaching $20,000 in monthly revenue on YouTube as the climb in engagement continued. However, over the past several months the channel has not even eclipsed $500.
Sadly, according to Berquist, the suppression and shadow ban has not been without consequences. His organization has had to fire employees in order to keep the company going and maintain some semblance of normalcy.
“The sad thing about big tech’s suppression and hatred for conservative voices is the fact that they end up hurting not just the influencer or individual that they target, but also a whole host of other people in the process. There are innumerable unintended consequences, and it would seem big tech never takes that into consideration in their quest for wokeness.”
“I hate it. I hate having to let hard working people go, all because big tech hates me,” he continued. “It’s not a fair system.”
Despite the severe drops in viewership, revenue and engagement, in two separate attempts to discuss the matter with YouTube, the Google owned enterprise informed Berquist that nothing was out of the ordinary and these were “normal fluctuations.”
“Anyone that sees what is going on in digital media, specifically in the conservative space, and then sees our specific dips and calls this a normal fluctuation is certifiably insane,” said Berquist.
We tend to agree. You can see the stark contrast in views in the below graph that shows the steep drop off and steadily diminishing return on his efforts.
This all occurs as YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has been awarded the Freedom Forum Institute’s “Free Expression Award’ for being a “free speech leader.”
NEW: Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki has won the Freedom Forum Institute's 'Free Expression Award' for being a "free speech leader"
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 27, 2021
When asked why he continues on with the show, even in the face of such adversity, he said “For one we don’t intend to give up just because Google wants us to…just because they don’t want people to hear the truth in a fair and sensible manner that directly conflicts with their and the Democrats’ message of division and hate. But secondly, and this has been a real silver lining in this madness, we have been able to connect with audience members in a more intimate manner that was not possible before. So while we hope this season of punishment ends, and we can get back to normal, we are grateful for the cherished conversations and engagement we have had with our most die hard fans.”
The social media landscape, which was expected to take several twists and turns leading up to the election, has not relented and numerous conservative platforms have been shuttered, or in many cases outright turned off leaving hosts and channels deplatformed.
While several platforms that have been attacked fall into the further right wing category, which are still protected by free speech but are ultimately canceled over made up or malleable policies, Berquist’s platform repeatedly attacks far-right conspiracy theories and offers a more hopeful and practical approach to politics and the world around us. Still the tech giants see him, and others like him, as a threat to their globalist agenda, in which the populous isn’t afforded the opportunity to determine their positions on the issues freely, but are rather forced to fall in line…or else.
When queried on why he remains on platforms, such as YouTube, that are so clearly against him and his message he offered the following response. “For one this is where our audience is, but moreover I don’t think creating echo chambers via partisan social media platforms is healthy for the national discussion. We are as divided as ever and forcing further division obviously isn’t the solution. I would much rather have fairness return and let both sides have voices on the mainstream platforms and let the results fall where they may.”
But that approach and sentiment sadly may be just a little too sensical and level headed for this new America we are living in. Ultimately only time will tell.
For now, you can watch Drew’s show Drew Berquist Live weekdays on his website or on any major platform (YouTube, Facebook, Rumble) at 3 pm EST or right here on LifeZette where we distribute his, and other conservative shows.
This piece was written by LifeZette on April 28, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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