Industry News

Gunhill Road Music Video on YouTube Flagged and “Shadow Banned” by Google for Containing Shocking Content


The music video for the Gunhill Road song “Damn Scammers (Get Off My Phone)” has been flagged by the editorial powers-that-be at Google for containing “shocking” content. The video has, thus, been relegated to a covert censorship process on YouTube commonly known as shadow banning which drastically inhibits its ability to garner views and potentially go viral within the processes of the platform’s algorithms. The song and video make a powerful statement against the growing practice of scamming that is polluting the internet and sowing the seeds of distrust throughout modern society. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, a member of the heritage rock band and co-writer (with Steve GoldrichPaul Reisch and Brian Koonin) of the controversial song states, “When we wrote the song and created the accompanying video images, we knew that some folks – including the censors at Google – might find it troubling. But we were pretty sure that most people (and hopefully the folks at Google) would realize it is just provocative satire and not a literal call for violence. After all, we are only venting in highly dramatic fashion against a universally hated category of criminals who operate in the darkness of anonymity and are destroying innocent people’s lives. Perhaps we misjudged its potential impact. Regardless, we are neither withdrawing it from distribution nor apologizing for its alleged offensiveness. We realize this is not a First Amendment issue. Google and YouTube have the right to post whatever they choose. And for the most part, I love and am a big fan of YouTube. However, because of the enormous, borderline monopolistic power of Big Tech, it might eventually be considered a First Amendment issue.” The song and video presents scammers as hideously ugly, troll-like figures and calls for their deaths by firing squad, electric chair, hanging, burning at the stake, castration and being blown up by drones.

Media attorney and TALKERS associate publisher, Matthew B. Harrison – the video’s producer – states, “It’s like being silenced but without a whisper – shadow banning – an invisible barrier between your content and your audience. Social media platforms may limit the visibility of your content without any notification, causing confusion and frustration. Why does this happen? Often, it’s due to violations of community guidelines, albeit sometimes mistakenly. Do you think they’ve got people watching everything? No. It was most likely a bot. So, understanding context is not going to be at the top of its abilities. The solution? Regularly review the platform’s policies, engage with your content positively, and diversify your social media presence to ensure your voice is widely heard.”

To view the unedited version of “Damn Scammers (Get off My Phone)” (viewer discretion is now advised) please click here.