Rudy Giuliani Calls YouTube's Suspension of Him From Ad Program 'Predatory'

Rudy Giuliani has said his suspension from a YouTube program that generates ad revenue from videos was a "predatory" move.

The Google-owned video giant said on Tuesday that Giuliani—Donald Trump's personal lawyer and a former mayor of New York—was removed from the partner program last week after violations of its guidelines on spreading election misinformation.

Giuliani told The Washington Post it was a "predatory" and "dangerous" decision that should raise antitrust concerns, referring to the U.S. laws that protect consumers from unfair business practices. "It's a... seductive road to authoritarianism," he said.

A YouTube spokesperson said Giuliani could appeal the decision after 30 days. It does not stop him sharing new content or promoting products in his videos, but means he won't make money from ads the company puts before uploads.

The partner program "enables revenue sharing from ads" on users' videos and opens up additional resources for content creators on the site, including access to support teams and tools to hunt for copyright infringements.

Since December 9, YouTube has pledged to remove content that misleads users by alleging that "widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election," including via software glitches or counting errors.

It said "news coverage and commentary" were allowed to remain on the site, but only if there is "sufficient education, documentary, scientific or artistic context."

Ballot machine company Dominion Voting Systems said on Tuesday that it was filing a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Giuliani for his alleged use of social media to spread the false claim that it had played a role in rigging the 2020 election.

Giuliani said he would "investigate a countersuit" and the filing was "intimidation by the hate-filled left wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech."

"...by the hate-filled left-wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech, as well as the ability of lawyers to defend their clients vigorously. As such, we will investigate a countersuit against them for violating these Constitutional rights."

— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 25, 2021

He tweeted on Tuesday: "When do we all acknowledge the obvious truth about Biden?
Or will we be censored, ostracized, canceled and attacked if we express our opinion?"

It remains unclear how much money Giuliani is set to lose as a result of his suspension from the partner program. Paid product promotions can be found in his videos, advertising everything from gold coins to home fraud insurance and cigar stores.

Since January 10, some of his videos have been published to Rumble, a YouTube-like platform being pitched at conservatives. Giuliani's personal website has a dedicated section for "censored videos." They have also appeared on his Facebook account.

At the time of writing, Giuliani's YouTube account has more than 580,000 subscribers. While most of his YouTube videos have been watched hundreds of thousands of times, some clips uploaded in the past two months have attracted more than 1 million views.

Rudy Giuliani
Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, pictured on December 2, 2020, in Lansing, Michigan. Giuliani said his suspension from a YouTube program that generates ad revenue from videos was a “predatory” move. Rey Del Rio/Getty