YouTube’s propaganda attribution link and how to bypass it

The first amendment is a wonderful thing. And not only because people can choose to speak and say what they want in our great U.S.A., but because we can also choose to decide WHAT we want to hear.

In the past year, YouTube has taken a much more proactive role to literally force users to view politically charged content in a variety of ways. YouTube sprinkles a wide range of very charged content in it’s search results that is most definitely tilted left in it’s viewpoints and repeatedly shows such content, even if the viewer has right-leaning viewpoints.

But the most invasive and (in my view) offensive of these is the periodic replacement of a portion of the home button on all YouTube pages with left-leaning content that directs a user to a video promoting a cause or event that the user was not expecting to be taken to. Even my liberal friends are complaining saying that they go to YouTube to watch videos they want to watch and NOT to be hijacked into viewing content they don’t want to see when pressing the YouTube icon that normally takes users to the home page.

This tendency to hijack the normal interface to deliver political propaganda has become an endemic problem in social media and many people are looking at ways around these issues. As a programmer, I grew tired of being forcibly hijacked by YouTube to view videos of content and political views I have zero agreement with and decided to take control rather than continue to be annoyed. I won’t get into the ethics of this one-sided viewpoint on the part of these business entities other than to say that there are many views in this world, not just a single one and it is my right to decide what gets through to my browser and what does not. I will say that social media platforms should ALL be apolitical, but that is a pipe dream in a world bereft of moral and ethical concern when it comes to self-control and computers. We’re all on our own out there and we each have to decide how to deal with these singular viewpoints that represent their interests over our own.

Since I routinely use FireFox, I decided to write a Greasemonkey script to solve this issue by trapping the link that YouTube embeds into their site pages and to transform it on-the-fly in my browser so I do not have to contend with these viewpoints being rammed down my throat from Silicon Valley’s elite.

The script works by redirecting the user to the home page of YouTube rather than to deliver their desired one-world-viewpoint which I did not sign on to listen to or view.

I am not certain if there are Greasemonkey equivalents in other browsers, but if so, this script might run as-is in them, or easily be changed as needed.

Analysis of the YouTube code showed that they call this political link as an “attribution_link” that is embedded in an area tag in html. This can be overcome with the Greasemonkey script scanning for the keyword “attribution_link” and a simple text change to the link on-the-fly. The only weakness is that Greasemonkey is a little slow on executing, so you need to be careful to let a page fully load or risk the attribution link still taking you to the political link.

How to overcome YouTube’s Propaganda Home Page Hijacker

Greasemonkey icon in FireFox

Install Greasemonkey and activate it. Then follow the instructions to create a new script in Greasemonkey and just cut and paste this code into the new script. Once you have it loaded,  just let it run and the next time YouTube decides to hijack the Home link, you’ll be immune to their actions. Note that YouTube may change the link scripting over time. As such, I will update this script and article as time passes to keep up with them and continue to overcome their propaganda efforts.

The Code

// ==UserScript==
// @name removelibprop
// @namespace
// @description Remove propaganda links from Youtube. Youtube has started embedding political videos in place of it’s
// home page link. This is annoying and this script removes the propaganda link from the page.
// Note: Wait for the page to fully load before testing the home link because Greasemonkey isn’t the fastest
// and it takes time for the link replacements to occur.
// @include*
// ==/UserScript==

var links,thisLink;
// Note we are scanning ONLY matching area tags with href attributes
links = document.evaluate(“//area[@href]”,

// Test to see if the area tag is in the resultset and if so, then we do content replacement.
if (links.snapshotLength > 0) {
// Scan the matching links and do the replacement
for (var i=0;i<links.snapshotLength;i++) {
var thisLink = links.snapshotItem(i);
thisLink.href = thisLink.href.replace(RegExp(‘https?://www\\.youtube\\.com/attribution_link(.*)’),