1 March 2018
YouTube is purging right-wing and independent commentators in the wake of the Parkland High shooting while admitting that it is mistakenly banning conservatives.
Independent journalist Mike Cernovich reported earlier today that a video he uploaded of left-wing Antifa activists chanting death threats had been taken down by YouTube. The video shows Antifa shouting violent threats at attendees of Cernovich’s Night for Freedom event in Washington DC, which took place on Saturday. Cernovich commented to Breitbart News on YouTube’s removal, saying, “YouTube is censoring honest, unedited reporting about ANTIFA’s actions. This can mean only one thing — they endorse far left wing violence.”
Google, which owns YouTube, has also banned political YouTube star and classical liberal Carl Benjamin, better known by his online pseudonym “Sargon of Akkad.”
Although his videos are still available to view, he has been locked out of his Google account, including YouTube, and is unable to upload new videos. Benjamin was also permanently banned from Twitter last year — Facebook is now the only major social media platform that he can use to get his message out.
In a comment to Breitbart News, Benjamin said the ban, which mirrored that of Canadian academic Jordan Peterson last August, was the beginning of a “platform-wide purge.”
“As James Damore’s lawsuit against Google has shown, the entire company is riddled with a far-left ideological orthodoxy that has taken hold to a radical degree,” said Benjamin.
“Google’s active suppression of individualist ideas within its own ranks has caused classical liberal and conservative commentators to be considered as far-right as Nazis, and are being treated with the same kind of prejudice and ruthlessness.”
Earlier this week, we reported on the censorship of Ashton Whitty, a conservative vlogger and Berkeley student. After Whitty uploaded a video criticizing CNN over their coverage of the Parkland shootings, YouTube took down her video and issued her channel with a “strike.” If a channel receives three strikes within three months, it can be permanently banned from the platform. Although the initial video was restored and the strike removed, the same thing happened to another of Whitty’s videos within a few hours.
The YouTube purge has also hit InfoWars, a popular alternative media channel run by radio host Alex Jones, who interviewed Donald Trump while he was still a candidate. InfoWars’ YouTube channel, which has more than 2 million subscribers, has now been blocked for two weeks over accusations that it posted “conspiracy theories” about Parkland. If it receives one more strike within three months, the channel will be permanently banned.
In a comment to Breitbart News, InfoWars Editor-at-Large and YouTube star Paul Joseph Watson said Google’s unchecked power and influence over civil discourse required regulation.
“Google is a monopoly, and its anti-free speech policies are beginning to erode the sanctity of civil discourse,” said Watson. “We need some kind of constitutional amendment or mass movement, such as the one against SOPA, in order to re-assert the supremacy of free expression.”
“YouTube admitting they made a “mistake” in terminating some accounts and content does offer a glimmer of hope that there are some rational actors within the company.”
“However, this speaks to the wider phenomenon of how society has become so coddled and infantilized, that stridently challenging the views of public figures is now being treated as ‘bullying’ and ‘harassment.’”
Watson warned that the “fury” caused by mass censorship on social media platforms would only increase the same “hyper-partisan tensions” that the big tech companies claim to oppose.
A YouTube spokeswoman recently admitted that some videos were being removed in error, attributing it to teething problems caused by their recent hiring of 10,000 new human moderators.
“Newer members may misapply some of our policies resulting in mistaken removals” admitted the spokeswoman. “We’ll reinstate any videos that were removed in error.”
At a Senate hearing last month, Sen. Ted Cruz called out YouTube’s alleged ideological bias, highlighting Prager University’s lawsuit against the company over censorship of conservatives. Cruz told a YouTube representative that if the platform did not remain politically neutral, they could lose legal immunity for user content under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Without this protection, social media companies would be legally liable for all content posted on their platforms – an existential threat to their business model.
Update — InfoWars contributor Jerome Corsi reports that his YouTube account has been terminated.