YouTube’s new and improved efforts at censorship of ideas that don’t meet the mainstream media’s narrative continue apace, as described by Liberty Nation’s Jeff Charles back in September of 2021. The Big Tech giant said it would start censoring and even banning accounts that, in its opinion, continue to spread misinformation regarding COVID and vaccines. Two anti-vaccine activists, Joseph Mercola and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. were on the list to be banned. The platform’s draconian censorship and fact-checking is causing the loss of prominent account holders such as Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and popular conservative commentator Dan Bongino, who has decided to fight back after being suspended.
Rand Paul’s Big Tech Exodus
Sen. Paul announced he was going to stop posting videos on the media site since he has been flagged twice for inappropriate material. The Republican received two strikes for what YouTube said violated its COVID-19 misinformation policy. His account was suspended for seven days in August and then again in September. According to YouTube’s policy, if an account receives three strikes in 90 days, it will be banned.
The senator said his decision to exit YouTube is part of his “exodus from Big Tech” plan. In an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, Paul put out a call to others who are also discouraged with media censorship. “If we all took our messaging to outlets of free exchange, we could cripple Big Tech in a heartbeat,” he wrote. Although he is veering away from using such outlets, Paul did say he would continue posting on YouTube, but only to criticize it, and will instead post a lot of his material as well as advocate for other sites, such as Rumble.
In the opinion piece titled “My New Year’s resolution: I’m quitting YouTube,” Paul commented on how he gets millions of views, but questioned why he should “allow anonymous ‘fact-checkers’ to censor my fully sourced, fact-based content?” The senator argues it’s wrong to not question science:
“A hallmark of the scientific method is to challenge and disprove a hypothesis. Yet we have abandoned science and rational debate for an almost religious adherence to the edicts of government bureaucrats like Anthony Fauci. To challenge the data is to be a ‘denier’ or ‘conspiracist’ who must be silenced.”
He describes how the social media conglomerates think they are progressive when their actions are more like the diktats of the Medieval church. He then quotes author Matt Taibbi:
“The traditional liberal approach to the search for truth, which stresses skepticism and free-flowing debate, is giving way to a reactionary movement that Plato himself would have loved, one that believes knowledge is too dangerous for the rabble and must be tightly regulated by a priesthood of ‘experts.’”
The senator claims the younger generation will never hear opposing opinions because they pretty much exclusively get their information from these platforms that censor out views not to their liking. “If they do happen to see, for example, an article claiming that the coronavirus could have originated with a lab leak in Wuhan,” Paul explained, “it is quickly condemned as ‘debunked’ or a ‘conspiracy’ by the invisible all-knowing ‘fact-checkers’ employed by Big Tech.”
The Bongino Bounce Back
Dan Bongino took to the social media waves to argue against his recent temporary suspension from YouTube for spreading misinformation about COVID. He was banned for a week after posting a video that claimed face masks are “useless” when it comes to stopping the spread of the virus. The social media platform also suspended his monetization on the site for “repeatedly violating” the guidelines on posting “harmful and dangerous acts.”
One of the most popular and influential conservative voices, Bongino has about 870,000 followers just on YouTube. Armed with anger and a few choice words, he shared parts of an email on Twitter that he had sent YouTube. In part, he wrote:
“So here’s my deal to you, and there will be NO negotiation. After your ‘suspension,’ I will immediately post content questioning why masks have been totally ineffective in stopping this pandemic. I dare you to do something about it.”
In typical devil-may-care Bongino attitude, he signed the email with: “Respectfully Kiss My A–.”
While conservatives argue social media giants are using their powers to block freedom of speech, another group is mad as hell and claims YouTube isn’t doing enough to control misinformation.
In an open letter to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, more than 80 fact-checking groups worldwide suggested the social media company actually do more to censor its content. YouTube was called out for helping to promote disinformation and misinformation, especially when it comes to the COVID vaccination. The group, which includes organizations such as Full Fact in the U.K., PolitiFact, and a fact-checker from a prominent Washington, D.C. newspaper, “accuse YouTube of allowing videos that pushed the “false US election fraud narrative,” according to Business Insider.
The letter stated, “On the contrary, YouTube is allowing its platform to be weaponized by unscrupulous actors to manipulate and exploit others, and to organize and fundraise themselves.”
Both sides of the political divide want their voices heard and are targeting social media sites to that end. However, the progressive left also wants to silence any ideas that are not in line with their own. With so many conservatives leaving for greener pastures – or freer platforms – how will this affect Big Tech’s bottom line? Or will it even put a dent in their deep pockets?
~ Read more from Kelli Ballard.