Tag Archives: YouTube

If Private Platforms Use Government Guidelines to Police Content, is that State Censorship? by Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi asks a valid question, and he doesn’t even bring up the close ties between the largest private platforms and the government. From Taibbi at taibbi.substack.com:

YouTube’s decision to demonetize podcaster Bret Weinstein raises serious questions, both about the First Amendment and regulatory capture

Just under three years ago, Infowars anchor Alex Jones was tossed off Facebook, Apple, YouTube, and Spotify, marking the unofficial launch of the “content moderation” era. The censorship envelope has since widened dramatically via a series of high-profile incidents: Facebook and Twitter suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story, Donald Trump’s social media suspension, Apple and Amazon’s kneecapping of Parler, the removal of real raw footage from the January 6th riots, and others.

This week’s decision by YouTube to demonetize podcaster Bret Weinstein belongs on that list, and has a case to be put at or near the top, representing a different and perhaps more unnerving speech conundrum than those other episodes.

Profiled in this space two weeks ago, Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying — both biologists — host the podcast DarkHorse, which by any measure is among the more successful independent media operations in the country. They have two YouTube channels, a main channel featuring whole episodes and livestreams, and a “clips” channel featuring excerpts from those shows.

Between the two channels, they’ve been flagged 11 times in the last month or so. Specifically, YouTube has honed in on two areas of discussion it believes promote “medical misinformation.” The first is the potential efficacy of the repurposed drug ivermectin as a Covid-19 treatment. The second is the third rail of third rails, i.e. the possible shortcomings of the mRNA vaccines produced by companies like Moderna and Pfizer.

Weinstein, who was also criticized for arguing the lab-leak theory before conventional wisdom shifted on that topic, says YouTube’s decision will result in the loss of “half” of his and Heying’s income. However, he says, YouTube told him he can reapply after a month.

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YouTube censors panel of medical experts over Covid-19 “misinformation”, by Simon Black

Simon Black’s weekly chronicle of the absurd. From Black at sovereignman.com:

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

YouTube censors panel of medical experts over Covid-19 “misinformation”

The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis recently held a panel discussion to discuss recent research findings related to Covid-19.

The expert panel included four professors of medicine from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford Universities, who are all PhDs and experts in a field of disease research. And that just scratches the surface of their credentials relevant to being considered Covid-19 experts.

The panel spoke against forcing children and vaccinated people to wear masks, and said there was no proof that lockdowns reduced the spread or death rates of Covid-19. They cited specific, peer reviewed scholarly research on which they based their opinions.

But YouTube decided that these experts were spreading misinformation, and took down the video, “because it included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

This, of course, is an absurd statement, as the video itself proves there is no scientific consensus.

Earlier this week, Gov. DeSantis reconvened the panel to discuss not just Covid, but also the censorship of the scientific debate on Covid-19 best practices.

The panelists pointed out that the censorship of scientific debate is responsible for some percentage of Covid deaths over the past year, as well as deaths from suicide, and untreated medical issues.

That’s because the scientific community and public were not allowed to discuss best practices in a free and open environment, which according to the scientific method, leads closest to the truth.

You can watch the full original panel discussion here (on YouTube alternative Odysee).

And you can watch the follow up conference here (on YouTube alternative Rumble).

Australian government could require ID for social media use

The Australian parliament released a report called “Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence.”

In it, the government recommends forcing social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and even dating apps like Tinder to require government ID in order to use the services.

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YouTube to Test Hiding ‘Dislikes’ Following Massive ‘Dislike’ Counts on White House Channel Videos, by Samuel Allegri

No, this is not the Babylon Bee or an April Fools’ Day joke. From Samuel Allegri at theepochtimes.com:

Youtube, the video hosting platform owned by Google, announced on March 29 that they are going to test making the “dislike” count on videos invisible.

The tech giant says that it’s being done in response to “targeted dislike campaigns” and “creator feedback around well-being.”

“In response to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns, we’re testing a few new designs that don’t show the public dislike count,” YouTube announced on Twitter.

“If you’re part of this small experiment, you might spot one of these designs in the coming weeks.”

It further states on a Google support page: “Viewer feedback has always been, and will continue to be, an important part of YouTube. But we’ve heard from creators that the public dislike counts can impact their wellbeing, and may motivate a targeted campaign of dislikes on a creator’s video. So, we’re testing designs that don’t include the visible like or dislike count in an effort to balance improving the creator experience, while still making sure viewer feedback is accounted for and shared with the creator. ”

A majority of responses on both the Twitter announcement and on the support page disapprove of the idea, with some comments suggesting the move is a consequence of the tremendous imbalance of “dislikes” on the present administration’s videos on their White House channel.

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YouTube Financially Deplatforms Swath Of Indie Media Accounts, by Caitlin Johnstone

Nothing is quite as pathetic as liberals who have cheered every censoring of opposing views by mainstream and social media and who now are astonished, horrified even, that the media are now going after “progressive” alternative media. Caitlin Johnstone was not one of those liberals. From Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

 

The Google-owned video sharing platform YouTube has demonetized numerous independent media accounts, a jarring escalation in the steadily intensifying campaign against alternative news outlets online.

Progressive commentators Graham Elwood, The Progressive Soapbox, The Convo CouchFranc Analysis, Hannah Reloaded and Cyberdemon531 have all received notifications from YouTube that their videos are no longer permitted to earn money through the platform’s various monetization features, as has Ford Fischer, a respected freelancer who films US political demonstrations. No explanation has been offered for this decision beyond the vague claim that “your channel is not in line with our YouTube Partner Program policies” due to “harmful content”.

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The YouTube Ban Is Un-American, Wrong, and Will Backfire, by Matt Taibbi

Trump supporters already know they’re getting a raw deal from the legacy and social media organs. The YouTube ban just makes it a little rawer. From Matt Taibbi at taibbi.substack.com:

Silicon Valley couldn’t have designed a better way to further radicalize Trump voters

Start with the headline: Supporting the 2020 U.S. Election. YouTube in its company blog can’t even say, “Banning Election Conspiracy Theories.” They have to employ the Orwellian language of politicians — Healthy Forests, Clear Skies, “Supported” Elections — because Google and YouTube are now political actors, who can’t speak plainly any more than a drunk can walk in a straight line.

The company wrote Wednesday:

Yesterday was the safe-harbor deadline for the U.S. Presidential election and enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect. Given that, we will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election… For example, we will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors.

This announcement came down at roughly the same time Hunter Biden was announcing that his “tax affairs” were under investigation by the U.S. Attorney in Delaware. Part of that investigation concerned whether or not he had violated tax and money laundering laws in, as CNN put it, “foreign countries, principally China.” Information suggestive of money-laundering and tax issues in China and other countries was in the cache of emails reported in the New York Post story blocked by Twitter and Facebook.

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How We Could Wind Up Banned from Discussing an October Surprise on Social Media this Election, by Caitlin Johnstone

They just don’t want their dirty secrets out there before the election. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

In what it calls an effort to make itself “a more reliable source for election-related news and information,” YouTube has announced  that it will be removing “content that contains hacked information, the disclosure of which may interfere with democratic processes, such as elections and censuses.”

“For example, videos that contain hacked information about a political candidate shared with the intent to interfere in an election,” adds the Google-owned video sharing platform.

This by itself is an alarming assault on human communication and press freedom. If there is authentic information out there about either of the candidates who are up for the most powerful elected position on the planet, the world is entitled to know about it, regardless of how that information was acquired. Monopolistic tech oligarchs have no business barring us from learning about and discussing that information.

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YouTube Bans Mercola Videos, by Joseph Mercola

One of the alternative media’s best medical authorities keeps getting deplatformed. From Joseph Mercola at lewrockwell.com:

The noose of censorship continues to tighten. I recently reported how Twitter now falsely labels Mercola article links as unsafe and malicious, warning potential readers my site might steal passwords and other personal data, or install malware on your computer.

It is absolutely false. On the contrary, my site now has a firewall preventing Google analytic scripts from running on our pages, thereby protecting you from Google’s intrusive data mining. Unfortunately, by declaring our pages dangerous, they successfully suppress about 95% of our Twitter views.

Google, of course, started banning Mercola content from its searches mid-2019. I wrote about this in “Shocking Proof How Google Censors Health News” and “Google Buries Mercola in Latest Search Engine Update.” Facebook also suppressed our reach, and in August 2019, I made the decision to stop supporting their unscrupulous data mining efforts by leaving Facebook.

More recently, NewsGuard (again) classified mercola.com as fake news because we reported evidence suggesting SARS-CoV-2 virus could be a manmade virus leaked from the biosafety level 4 laboratory in Wuhan City, China, and two of my COVID-19 interviews have also been deleted off Spotify without recourse.

Spotify claims it only prohibits illegal content, hate content and infringing content. My interviews about coronavirus with Brian Hoyer and Judy Mikovits, Ph.D., clearly do not fall under any of these categories, yet they were removed anyway.

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Twitter Falsely Labels All Mercola Links as Unsafe, by Joseph Mercola

Google, YouTube and Twitter have set themselves up as medical censors. From Joseph Mercola at lewrockwell.com:

The documentary “Plandemic” by Mikki Willis has raised the ante on internet censorship to a whole new level. Across the board, the film has been banned from social media platforms and hidden by Google. If you do an online search for it, all you find are dozens of pages with articles calling it a hoax, a fraud or the dreaded old “conspiracy theory.”

The film features Judy Mikovits, Ph.D., a cellular and molecular biologist1 whose research showed that many vaccines are contaminated with gammaretroviruses, thanks to the fact that they use viruses grown in contaminated animal cell lines.

A May 27, 2020, article2 in The Jewish Voice, which carries the telling headline, “Washington Post Journalist Advocates Censorship of Controversial Dr. Judy Mikovits Film, as Stunning Censorship Grips World,” notes:

“When The Jewish Voice posted the 20 minute preview of Dr. Judy Mikovitz’ documentary ‘Plandemic’ our website literally crashed for 24 hours straight due to huge traffic … The movie is about vaccines and pandemics and her views on Bill Gates and others. Is the 20-minute preview controversial, absolutely — is this material dangerous? Absolutely not.

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SouthFront Is Censored Under Cover of Pandemic, by Rick Sterling

Facebook and YouTube are censoring a quality site that often disagrees with US government propaganda and exposes its lies. The claim is the by now all too familiar claim that the site is a Russian front. From Rick Sterling at antiwar.com:

Introducing SouthFront

Where do you find daily news, videos, analysis and maps about the conflict in Syria? Detailed reports about the conflicts in Libya, Yemen and Venezuela? News about the rise of ISIS in Mozambique? Original analysis of events in the US and Russia? SouthFront is the place.

SouthFront is unique and influential, reaching a global audience of hundreds of thousands. They have opinion articles but their reports and videos are informational and factual. Their website says,

“SouthFront focuses on issues of international relations, armed conflicts and crises…. We try to dig out the truth on issues which are barely covered by the states concerned and the mainstream media.”

Censorship by Facebook and YouTube

A major disinformation and censorship drive against SouthFront was recently launched. On April 30 the SouthFront Facebook account with about 100,000 subscribers was deleted without warning or notice.

On May 1, SouthFront’s main YouTube account with over 150 thousand subscribers was terminated. The English language channel had 1,900 uploaded videos with 60 million views over the past 5 years.

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A Free Speech Alternative to YouTube, by Yvonne Lorenzo

There is a rebellion against the Google empire. From Yvonne Lorenzo at lewrockwell.com:

As I discussed in a recent post I wrote for LewRockwell.com, YouTube is increasingly censoring or terminating content creators, and for some of my prior writing where YouTube content was removed, I provided embed codes to an alternative platform that hosted those banned videos. For instance, in my piece “Bolton’s Blunder” for some reason the video on YouTube that Organic Prepper Daisy Luther provided, “Seven Signs of An Empire in Decline” was removed; the alternative I found was superior to the original. In addition, I provided an embed code to Lew Rockwell of a video of two physicians challenging the COVID-19 narrative that had a huge amount of views on YouTube that was removed but it has been retained on a competitive platform that is growing yet as of now has only a fraction of the viewership of YouTube; that platform is BitChute.

While I’m sure that since it is based on providing a free speech platform evidently with little restriction and has content that will be viewed as offensive, nevertheless many popular, rational, and respected content providers who still have channels on YouTube use Bitchute as a backup platform because of YouTube’s totalitarian censorship practices. Based on my own personal preferences, I follow content that has been banned or censored on YouTube and due to Google’s profiling and integration with various governments (see here and here), I now prefer watching content on BitChute. I’ve followed on YouTube the work of Dave Cullen, an Irish Catholic, who covers many topics. He discussed the importance of BitChute in the following video that provided to me the astonishing information that essentially BitChute, which is competing with YouTube, actually has only two full-time employees and uses sophisticated blockchain based technology; the video is entitled “Bitchute Needs Our Help” and it was posted on December 2019 to the platform:

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