Big Tech Censors Strike Again
Earlier this week YouTube banned three more independent commentators. James Allsup, “The Iconoclast,” and “Way of the World.” Their crime? Outspoken defense of Western Culture, which apparently is now considered “hate speech.” Taken together, the videos posted by these three commentators had been watched over 100 million times.
The most prominent of these newly banished, James Allsup, had over 450,000 subscribers. Thanks to this latest move by YouTube, America’s defacto Ministry of Truth, nearly a half-million Americans now have less reason than ever to believe their first amendment rights will be protected, and, by extension, any of their constitutional rights. Do the Lords of YouTube fear “right wing extremism?” Then they need to stop taking extreme measures that provoke extreme resentment. They need to stop engaging in fascist censorship.
For those of us who have never considered ourselves extremists, and who don’t necessarily agree with everything that James Allsup and these other banished commentators ever did or said, this is nonetheless a matter of principle. It is intolerable to allow private business interests to lobotomize our collective consciousness in pursuit of their personal political agenda. That should not be happening here, in a nation that considers freedom of speech to be one of its founding principles.
One independent commentator who hasn’t yet had his tongue ripped out by the YouTube overlords, Vincent James, posted a scathing reaction to this latest act of censorship. Quote:
“The CEO of YouTube recently came out and talked about how they have an obligation to bring you the news, how they have an obligation to push down fake news and prop up authoritative news sources, and this sounds a lot like a publisher, and not like a platform.”
Later in his video, he elaborates:
“This is a matter of free speech in a new public town square that is the internet. There is no soapbox in the middle of the town square any longer, ‘town square’ is social media. These social media companies have gotten by far too long with this protection and immunity by the federal government for what their users post.
There’s a whole community of people who smoke meth, and film themselves on YouTube. This is illicit material, and those videos aren’t being taken down. If YouTube and Facebook and Twitter and all these different media companies were responsible for the content we post, they would be sued into absolute bankruptcy a long time ago. They have this blanket immunity from the federal government because they promote themselves as platforms, as a blank piece of paper where anyone can post anything as long as it follows the law of the land where they reside.
The law of the land in the United States does not include hate speech as a matter of fact the supreme court has ruled on this multiple times unanimously. The ‘hate speech,’ the ‘unpopular speech,’ is the speech that needs to be protected the most.”
Many free speech advocates may disagree with some of the commentary Vincent James has offered, but he is absolutely right about the first amendment, and he is absolutely right about these social media companies. They are either platforms or they are publishers. They cannot be both at the same time. This is a matter that requires executive action, or an urgent court battle, or legislative remedy. Don’t hold your breath.
Silencing online commentators takes many forms. They can be completely terminated, which is something occurring with increasing frequency. But they can also be deboosted, or shadowbanned, where the traffic to their sites is reduced. Some of the ways this is done are through manipulated search results, removal from “recommended videos,” removal from trending topics, or by throttling down their bandwidth. Sites can also be demonetized, where ads are no longer served onto their pages, or, even more insidiously, partially demonetized, where ads still arrive, just fewer of them. Unwanted commentators can also be attacked by throwing them off of subscription platforms such as Patreon, or even by expelling them from the payment processors such as PayPal.
Anyone who doesn’t think this is happening, and happening disproportionately to conservatives, is ignoring a mountain of evidence. Here, compiled by Vincent James, is a list of websites that have been censored by the social media companies. Here, published earlier this year by American Greatness, is a similar list of politically incorrect vloggers, and here is a list of politically inconvenient climate information websites.
There are alternative platforms, at least until the SJWs apply enough pressure to those to make them engage in similar censorship. BitChute now hosts James Allsup, Way of the World, and The Iconoclast. But BitChute is buggy, slow, and has a bad search engine. Its global Alexa traffic ranking is 3,790. Think that’s good? YouTube is #2, right after #1 Google.
BitChute will improve. But it is a fantasy to pretend these alternative platforms will challenge the monopolistic reach of Google search, or YouTube videos. They will be stigmatized as a right wing ghetto, and they will barely show up on search results. As a result, they will not offer the viral, serendipitous discovery to open minded virtual wanderers. How many of us found many of these powerful alternative voices by accident? Unless the monopolies, who reach everyone, change their ways, that will never happen again.
When principles as fundamental as the First Amendment are violated, there are consequences. The immediate consequence is a rising fury and potential radicalization of every American who is watching this travesty unfold and sees the injustice, and sees either indifference or active misrepresentation coming from the establishment media and establishment politicians.
The more far reaching consequence is the fact that if this isn’t stopped, right now, and reversed, moderate conservatives and moderate nationalists will develop increasing sympathies for their more extreme counterparts. Why wouldn’t they? Every shred of content coming out of the mainstream media and entertainment, social media, corporate marketing, academia, K-12 public education, and nonprofit advocacy groups is globalist pablum. It’s sickening to watch, and now, we are expected to tolerate censorship of the alternative voices found online?
An article published last month by the BBC comes embarrassingly close to revealing the motives behind escalating online censorship. They write: “The more mainstream these narratives become, the greater the tension will be over whether they really are extreme or whether they represent acceptable political discourse, and the views of a substantial number of real people.”
“These narratives.” That is the threat. What if we don’t want open borders? What if we would like the facts, not a bunch of skewed BS, regarding how immigration policies affect our economy and our social cohesion? What if we want balanced opinions, or just hear the other side for a change, on the issues of multiculturalism, race, feminism, gender “equity” and social justice? What if we find an unrepentant critic of identity politics to be a breath of fresh air? What if we believe there should be a robust and honest debate over globalism, or over climate change?
Everyone knows what these social media companies are doing. They are trying to influence public opinion in favor of a globalist progressive agenda. No national borders. Anti-racist racism. Anti-sexist sexism. Gender “fluidity.” Corporate socialism. And of course, “TRUMP IS EVIL.” It’s working. But they must stop. Because if they do not stop, there will be a credible case to be made that the upcoming 2020 election results are not legitimate. Remember how the Democrats made that claim back in 2016, because Russian “bots” allegedly affected a few thousand votes? Determined social media manipulation of the entire online public square will affect millions of votes.
YouTube, and all the rest – back off.
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Edward Ring is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. He is also a senior fellow with the Center for American Greatness, and a regular contributor to the California Globe. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Forbes, and other media outlets.
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