Mainstream media networks and newspapers have pushed narratives in their newsrooms for decades. Yet, for some reason, Facebook and YouTube, which have far more influence than those networks, have chosen to bend to pressure and try to control the narratives on their platforms.
Transcript — Is there an Internet purge of conservative voices or voices of dissension online? Some say yes, and that the purge is being pushed by YouTube (owned by Google) and Facebook and Twitter.
We’ve heard about censorship before, but is what is happening now an all-out purge?
Let’s give it a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.
You might be a fan, you might be disgusted by him. But there is no doubt that InfoWars founder and radio host Alex Jones is a lightning rod. His YouTube channel has over 2.2 million subscribers and more than 33,000 videos.
Just days ago, Jones claimed that YouTube had begun a process of taking his channel down.
On March 3, CBS reported, “Jones tweeted that he had ‘set up a new channel’ that the ‘SPLC,’ or the Southern Poverty Law Center, wanted censored. In one of the videos on the channel called ‘InfoWars Censored,’ Jones said, ‘We’re live on Facebook, on Twitter, on Periscope, but we cannot go live on the Alex Jones channel — it’s been frozen for the third time in one week.’”
YouTube confirmed to CBS News that some advertisers had asked that their ads be pulled from Jones’ channel but there was “no plan”…“at present” to remove the channel completely.
Of course, all of this comes after YouTube announced in December that it would hire 10,000 new moderators to flag content. And those moderators have been flagging at stunning rate.
- Facebook Takes Another Stab at Soft Censorship Through Modified “Trustworthy” Newsfeed
- Facebook Says It’s Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the US and Israeli Governments
- The Intercept’s Transition From Guard Dog to Attack Dog for the Establishment
- Israel’s Online Shadow Operations
But more than flagged, YouTube is outright banning channels. Some YouTube channels recently complained about their accounts being pulled entirely with no advance warning. In this latest case, YouTube seems to have been flagging content that was either deemed as pro-gun or conservative content.
According to The Verge, “YouTube indicated that as the platform ramps up human-powered moderation efforts, new moderators may have mistakenly removed or flagged right-wing videos and channels. Bloomberg reported the news this afternoon, quoting a YouTube spokesperson saying that ‘as we work to hire rapidly and ramp up our policy enforcement teams throughout 2018, newer members may misapply some of our policies resulting in mistaken removals.’ The spokesperson said that YouTube’s policies had not changed, and that ‘we’ll reinstate any videos that were removed in error.’”
So it’s not a conspiracy.
There is no question that human moderators were, in fact, pulling down “right wing” or “conservative content.”
But why? What is really happening here? Because YouTube’s push to control video content, just like Facebook is nothing new. In fact, it has been happening for some time.
Mike Cernovich tweeted that a video he has posted of Antifa protesters chanting death threats at a protest in DC was taken down by YouTube because it violated community guidelines.
To be clear, the video was about 30 seconds of an actual protest in DC. And the language of the protesters violated community guidelines? That is called news, YouTube. But it was not allowed.
Mike Adams, the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, announced March 3:
“YouTube has now deleted the entire Health Ranger video channel, wiping out over 1,700 videos covering everything from nutrition, natural medicine, history, science and current events.”
So why is all of this happening? Is it all because YouTube is trying to control the Internet? Maybe not.
There is, in fact, a very coordinated effort by a number of organizations, like Media Matters for America and the Southern Poverty Law Center to silence voices with which it does not agree.
I know this first hand, as these organizations have attacked me personally trying to silence my voice.
Full disclosure here, I am ideologically a libertarian, neither on the left or the right. But according to these groups, I am “alt-right”—a dog whistle which means white nationalist. I am not, not at all. But that doesn’t stop them from slandering me.
The goal of these organizations is to silence dissent. Not just from the right, but from the left as well.
Anyone who is not part of the establishment structure is attacked.
Facebook is going through a very similar process right now, with increased pressure to control voices on its platform.
Remember in 2016 it was widely reported by several outlets, including Gizmodo:
Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential ‘trending’ news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.”
Twitter does the same thing. In December, Twitter announced strict enforcement of new rules on “hateful conduct and abusive behavior.”
According to Politico, “That provoked the first objections from some on the right who called the steps a ‘#twitterpurge.’ The company conceded at the time that ‘we may make some mistakes and are working on a robust appeals process.”
So what you need to know is that the YouTube and Facebook purges are not a new problem.
Mainstream media networks and newspapers have routinely pushed narratives in their newsrooms for decades. We all know that.
Yet, for some reason, Facebook and YouTube, which have far more influence than those networks, have chosen to bend to pressure and try to control the narratives on their platforms.
YouTube says its mission is, “to give everyone a voice and show them the world.” But the truth is, they are not.
The problem for any dissenting voice is that if you are using your voice on someone else’s property, i.e., YouTube or Facebook, you will never have control of it. Which is why the next frontier must be decentralized platforms.
Platforms like Dtube and Steemit, built on blockchain, will be future of how content, the good the bad and ugly, will be stored. And the efforts to silence dissenting voices, will actually be the undoing of YouTube and Facebook.
As for those of us who have a voice, you and me, well… if you do not object to YouTube and Facebook purging voices with which you do not agree, then just wait.
Because if you are silent now, it may soon be the voices you do agree with that will also be silenced. And who then will be left to come to that defense?
Top Photo | Supporters of a right-wing group protest against censorship after their events, groups and profiles were blocked by Facebook in front of the Facebook Office in Warsaw, Poland, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP/Czarek Sokolowski)