Updated: 6 days ago
This is a press release from political podcast 'Politics Relaxed', a youth organization focusing on politics and current affairs, made by and for teenagers in London. We are being deliberately censored by Brian Rose after trying to hold him accountable in his bid to become London mayor. He is abusing the terms of service of YouTube to block our interview, which has serious implications for political accountability
We include embedded links for evidence of all our claims, and attached screenshots for additional proof. On April 16th we interviewed Brian Rose for our podcast, on Zoom. We wanted to know more about him, his mayoral bid and his channel, London Real. Rose is still second favourite at many bookmakers, and he uses this to justify saying he is "running in second place", but he has openly admitted to betting on himself which could explain the discrepancy. although polls place him as an outsider.
We have been following Brian for a while, and wanted to ask him why so many of his YouTube followers claim they were cheated out of money for his 'Digital Freedom Platform' (see Vice article, 'The YouTuber Accused of Using Coronavirus to Scam His Followers'), and why so many of the people who did his courses were so unhappy with the experience (see Michael Crick, 'Who is Brian Rose' for Mail+). We especially wanted to question him on why he claims to be one of the world's biggest defenders of 'free speech' and yet he constantly and methodically deletes any comments on any of his platforms that ask questions about what happened to the money donated for the 'Digital Freedom Platform' or ask any other challenging questions (for evidence, see the attached screenshots from one of his recent livestreams where around a third of the comments were deleted).
The interview was scheduled for 30 minutes, but Rose cut it short after 15 minutes, after becoming unhappy with the questioning. When we published the interview to YouTube it was promptly removed from the platform and was hit with a totally unfounded copyright claim by London Real (Brian's channel). The video contains no copyrighted material, only the interview that we conducted, and we fully own the rights to.
The way YouTube works we have to go through a laborious and time-consuming process of appeal, by which time the election will have already happened on May the 6th. We believe this is a purposeful abuse of YouTube’s copyright system, a bullying tactic by a large channel (London Real has 2m subscribers, Politics Relaxed has 146) as they are trying to limit the political damage and we strongly condemn it.
We believe this was purposeful and premeditated, as when we uploaded the interview YouTube recognised the material, flagging it as 'Content ID', and copyright London Real. The only way this is possible is that Brian Rose (who also recorded a copy of the interview at his end) must have uploaded it to YouTube as an unlisted film, and activated copyright protection. This was a deliberate, premeditated attempt to ensure our interview would be blocked when we uploaded it. You can see here the video is still blocked by Londonrealtv seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6MFxWozBec Felix Von der Geest, the 15-year-old host of Politics Relaxed said: "When I first discovered Brian had accepted the interview, I was excited to ask him some questions. A key theme of Politics Relaxed is our aim to hold politicians to account and I always strive to thoroughly research the interviewee beforehand. After doing some research on Brian I came across the list of discrepancies listed above, and felt it was important to give him the opportunity to respond to these claims. I was frustrated that Brian didn’t answer my questions, instead cutting the interview short and ending it 15 minutes earlier than scheduled (the interview was booked for 30 minutes).
The final straw was when his team copyright claimed our video just minutes after uploading. This seemed to be a direct targeting of our content. I would love to speak to Brian again and give him the opportunity to answer my questions, and he is always welcome back on the podcast. We hope his team reconsiders their choices to fit in line with their anti-censorship message. Actions speak louder than words." This is not the first time this has happened, Brian has been using YouTube's copyright policy to take down many videos critical of him over more than a year, with several copyright strikes against the Coffeezilla channel, also against Rebel Wisdom and others. As detailed in David Fuller's Unherd piece 'Can Brian Rose be London's next Mayor?' Rose has a long history of exaggeration and untruth (including claiming he "now had a criminal record" after he was fined for campaigning during lockdown) and is at the centre of multiple scandals, particularly after he raised £1m from his followers for a 'Digital Freedom Platform' that he claimed would be 'independent of London Real' but was actually fully owned by him, and only existed as a plugin inside the London Real website.
Another key issue, given that he is running for Mayor on the back of his "business background", is that a huge number of people are very unhappy with his business. His main income stream, his online courses, have around 30 scathing reviews on Scamguard, and there is now has Facebook group of over 300 people fighting to get their money back. We researched this ourselves and earlier this week interviewed someone who was unhappy with the course (happy to provide footage). But unfortunately Brian had left before we could question him. We had seen him try to avoid questions about these topics for months, see attached screenshots to see how many comments are deleted from his Mayoral livestreams.
The host of Politics Relaxed Felix Von der Geest is available for comment and interview at the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
edit: the video has now been uploaded as Brian has removed the claim. Please see our statement