Google and YouTube are in hot water with the conservative community after allegedly censoring a YouTube account for refusing to use gender-neutral pronouns. This is the latest accusation against YouTube and Google for censoring accounts that espouse conservative values.
YouTube seems to have decided that they’re going to pick winners and losers in the culture war. According to YouTube’s own blog post, they’ll be utilizing left-leaning organizations so that they can act as thought-police on YouTube. Even if YouTube thinks that the video doesn’t technically violate their policies they still claim that they’ll be placing heavy limits on accounts which are seen as controversial.
Jordan B. Peterson, a Professor at the University of Toronto, says he was caught up in YouTube’s latest round of thought-policing. Now the issue of YouTube censorship is picking up steam on social media and many are promising to take action.
Due to Google’s intervention, Professor Peterson says he’s lost access to hundreds of thousands of emails.
“I’ve had that account for the last, say, 15 years,” Peterson told The Daily Caller. “All of my correspondence is in that account. It’s hundreds of thousands of emails from people all over the world.”
Peterson believes the shutdown was politically motivated.
“[T]he fact that they reviewed it and then decided that my account is not eligible to be reinstated indicates to me either that this is quite a curious mistake or that there’s something that’s political going on that is associated with censorship.”
Professor Peterson received a sequence of notifications from Google posted them on Twitter.
Gab — a social media network which bills itself as an ad-free social network for creators who believe in free speech, individual liberty, and the free flow of information online — suggested that there be a nationwide protest of YouTube’s censorship.
The shutdown occurred after the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced that they were joining YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers Program.” This is potentially concerning considering the fact that the ADL released what many called a “hit list of conservative commentators” which lumped the middle-of-the-road conservatives in with a group of actual neo-Nazis and other anti-Semitics. The list published by the ADL named people like Milo Yiannopoulos, Mike Cernovich, Lucian Wintrich, and Jack Posobiec as hate-mongers.
On August 1st YouTube announced the creation of the Trusted Flaggers Program in a blog post which read in part, “Of course, our systems are only as good as the the data they’re based on. Over the past weeks, we have begun working with more than 15 additional expert NGOs and institutions through our Trusted Flagger program, including the Anti-Defamation League, the No Hate Speech Movement, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.”
“These organizations bring expert knowledge of complex issues like hate speech, radicalization, and terrorism that will help us better identify content that is being used to radicalize and recruit extremists. We will also regularly consult these experts as we update our policies to reflect new trends. And we’ll continue to add more organizations to our network of advisors over time,” the release continued.
YouTube is now going to be taking action against accounts for ‘hate speech’ even if it doesn’t violate any laws.
“We’ll soon be applying tougher treatment to videos that aren’t illegal but have been flagged by users as potential violations of our policies on hate speech and violent extremism. If we find that these videos don’t violate our policies but contain controversial religious or supremacist content, they will be placed in a limited state. The videos will remain on YouTube behind an interstitial, won’t be recommended, won’t be monetized, and won’t have key features including comments, suggested videos, and likes. We’ll begin to roll this new treatment out to videos on desktop versions of YouTube in the coming weeks, and will bring it to mobile experiences soon thereafter. These new approaches entail significant new internal tools and processes, and will take time to fully implement.”