A few days later, kind of 24 hours earlier than the e-book of this story, YouTube had taken down the number one channel we recognized as being in the back of the phenomenon, Primitive Technology KH (PTKH), as well as several other related channels we highlighted as providing similar content material, which includes Primitive Boy and Primitive Wildlife.
On what changed into formerly the PTKH channel’s page, we now located a takedown notification that study: “This account has been terminated due to more than one or extreme violations of YouTube coverage towards spam, misleading practices, and misleading content or different Terms of Service violations.”
We have reached out to YouTube for the remark to discover precisely why they took down the channel and could update this story with their solutions. However, the takedown’s timing leads us to agree with it changed in direct response to our article.
PTKH’s channel has been up for nicely over a yr, had videos with masses of tens of millions of perspectives, and greater than one million subscribers to their channel (the amount required to earn a Youtube Play Button award), which could’ve nearly assuredly put the channel on the streaming web page’s radar long before.
Before YouTube taking down PTKH, we had asked them for records about similar channels, which they declined to offer us. But after weeks of research, we finally located evidence that led us to accept as true with, let’s say, with a degree of certainty, where the films had been being produced: Cambodia.
A ‘primitive’ studio by way of the Mekong
We don’t usually cover Cambodia; however, thinking about the unsettling nature of the videos, their big view counts, and the reality that the phenomenon was regarded to be almost totally unreported, we determined to pursue the story no matter in which it took us.
After jogging into multiple dead-ends, our Google-fu sooner or later stumble on the clue that would point us in the right path: a single information tale approximately Cambodian ‘survivalist’ YouTubers who had come under fire for skinning and eating endangered animals that have been picked up via such shops as British tabloid the Daily Mail.
The May 2018 story concerned a husband and spouse team in the back of a YouTube channel called Natural Life TV (NLTV). They have been briefly arrested after being said to Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment for allegedly cooking and consuming animals in u. S .’s covered species listing. The couple stated that they had bought the animals unwittingly at a nearby market, and after issuing a public apology, the criminal difficulty evaporated.
However, our hobby of their tale changed into less approximately their arrests than the simple fact that they had been the very first names we were in a position to hook up with any primitive era-themed channels. Remarkably, a reporting touch in Cambodia grew to become out to connect to the pair, who agreed not simply to an interview but to permit us to go to their manufacturing facility to observe them movie one of the many movies they produce every week.
To be clear, we didn’t harbor the identical suspicions approximately NLTV as we did channels like Primitive Technology KH (PTKH), which characteristic children devouring wonderful animals even as making animal-like grunting noises. As it turns out, there are numerous, many sub-genres of primitive generation-themed motion pictures, with NLTV’s falling on the tamer side of the spectrum.
Unlike the PTKH movies, NTLV’s motion pictures function as adult ladies who often communicate a piece in the Khmer language. While no longer the most instructive cooking motion pictures, they don’t feature the equal seemingly fetishistic fixation on chewing and intake. Despite that, NLTV’s motion pictures perform well, with the top video on its channel having earned 18 million perspectives.
We were hoping that speaking to the couple might give us a little insight into what’s a remarkably opaque enterprise and perhaps open a course to getting in touch with the people in the back of PTKH and similar channels.
Our first-hand advent to the arena of primitive tech movies came about on an extensive resin plantation, about two-and-a-half hours outdoor Phnom Penh.
The set became inside the lower back of an expansive, properly-stored property simply meters from the Mekong shore. There we observed a house usual from timber rods with a thatched roof. Inside, it was empty – a prop.