She was warned that her questions could damage her future relationship with the company...
A French blogger claims that she was intimidated by a YouTube staff member ahead of her sit-down interview with European Council President, Jean-Claude Juncker.
Vlogger Laetitia Birbes quizzed the official over his moral authority to tackle the issue of tax abuses in the EU given his 18-year spell as Luxembourg's prime minister, and six years as finance minister, while corporations engaged in industrial-scale tax avoidance in the country.
Before the interview, she filmed a YouTube staff member saying that she should not "alienate" the European Commission.
“You don’t want to get on the wrong side of YouTube and the European Commission, or of the people who trust you. Except if you don’t care about having a long career on YouTube,” the male voice in the video said.
“At the beginning, I realised that YouTube was trying to gently influence me ... Then eventually it got more serious, and at some point I felt threatened," she reflected.
She adds that she believes that she was intended to offer soft questions to create an advert for Mr Juncker and the Commission.
Youtube has responded by saying that it was advising her to be respectful rather than confrontational when asking Mr Juncker questions - the video posted by the YouTuber shows the staff member suggesting that he will need to consult with the President's spokesperson concerning a potential red flag issue.
During the live Q&A - Ms Birbes did ask the politician if him policing tax policy was like putting a thief in charge of the police - he joked that thieves often make the best police officers.
Mr Juncker also suggested that "every country is another country's tax haven" - and added that if she looked into French tax policies Ms Birbes would be likely to find elements which would trouble her.
The Commission’s chief spokesperson, Margaritis Schinas, said that Mr Juncker did not need any protection from journalists and that he and his team are "a bit annoyed that for some reason we are now becoming part of the story with which we have absolutely nothing to do," The Guardian reports.
The YouTuber, who has a following of 64,000 subscribers, was subsequently offered a €25,000 grant, and a role as a 'YouTube ambassador for humanitarian projects.' She said that she could not sign the contract as she was concerned that the offer came at this time in the hope of incentivising her to not speak out about her concerns surrounding the interview with Mr Juncker.