Let the soft censorship commence. This week, Google will launch the biggest crackdown on so-called extremist videos on YouTube, whether it’s by labeling certain content “not suitable” for advertisers or installing restrictions on specific videos. Unfortunately, one of the first victims was Ron Paul.
Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, revealed on Twitter this Saturday that the three-time presidential candidate’s videos have been deemed as not suitable for all advertisers. The 12-term representative runs a YouTube channel called The Liberty Report, which primarily focuses on foreign policy discussions from a libertarian, anti-war point of view. Paul and Daniel McAdams, his co-host, have interviewed a wide array of guests over the years, such as filmmaker Oliver Stone, Edward Snowden, and Assange.
So far, several videos have already been demonetized, including “Julian Assange to join us at Ron Paul Institute Conference,” “Trump’s ‘New’ Afghan Strategy: Protect The Empire” and, “Senate Declares War On WikiLeaks – With Philip Giraldi.” How are these in any way extremist or hateful? Phooey!
Here is one video to take a gander at:
Assange tweeted that YouTube is “economically” censoring Dr. Paul because he criticizes the U.S. government’s foreign policy and viewpoint of WikiLeaks. He is likely correct due to the fact that Google operates from a neo-liberal playbook, one that involves war, and shutting down free speech.
If you think that Paul has been the only target on YouTube’s radar, then think again.
Many personalities and websites, particularly those that come from a conservative, libertarian or pro-Trump angle, have revealed that their videos have been disabled for advertising or have been age-restricted. Even classical liberals who have criticisms over the ideology of Islam have been affected.
Last week, Town Hall reported that hundreds of videos from a religious organization were demonetized. Jihad Watch, a group that monitors Islamic jihad theology, experienced the same thing. Philip DeFranco, a centrist YouTuber who mostly talks about pop culture, confirmed that a couple of his videos have been impacted over the last week.
For much of 2017, the likes of Paul Joseph Watson, Steven Crowder, and Mark Dice have seen their videos come under the boot of YouTube moderators, whether it is for poking fun at CNN, or questioning the refugee policies in Europe. Diamond and Silk, two Internet sensations, are considering taking legal action against YouTube because 95% of their videos have been demonetized – they think it’s because they’re conservative and supported President Donald Trump last year. PragerU, an innocent conservative channel that simply has one person in front of graphics speak to the camera, is seeing more of its videos being restricted.
This is a trend that has been occurring for a while, but the search engine juggernaut warned in June that it would be amplified. Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel, wrote in a blog post:
These videos will have less engagement and be harder to find. This strikes the right balance between free expression and access to information without promoting extremely offensive viewpoints.
He added that the initiative concentrates on “inflammatory religious or supremacist content.”
For much of his life, Paul has promoted peace and prosperity, liberty and freedom for all. How is that extremist? Since the founding of The Liberty Report, Paul has promoted anti-war views, pro-privacy stances, and maximum liberty positions. In what world is anti-war and pro-freedom extreme and offensive?
Who else will be the victims of censorship, hard or soft, moving forward? If a letter to YouTube publishers is anything to go by, you can expect many more. Here is a Google memo to creators that was sent out last week:
YouTube doesn’t allow hate speech or content that promotes or incites violence. In some cases, flagged videos that do not clearly breach the Community Guidelines but whose content is potentially controversial or offensive may remain up, but with some features disabled.
Yes, YouTube is a private company and can, thus, operate its business however it sees fit. Unfortunately, the platform may soon only be utilized to showcase cat videos, drag queen competitions for children and Stephen Colbert’s feigned outrage about President Trump – oh, and plenty of videos by The Young Turks (they have adhered to the 3×5 card of allowable opinion).
YouTube encourages its users to express their opinions on any subject, but it must be sentiments that are shared by Silicon Valley. Otherwise, if you’re not careful, and you dare defy incogitant groupthink, you, your channel, and your videos will be tossed into the Memory Hole by the Ministry of Truth. Remember, as Dr. Paul wrote in “The Revolution: A Manifesto”:
Truth is treason in the empire of lies.