May 4, 2022

YouTube’s Double Standard

Should the world’s biggest video platform be next for free speech liberation?

Now that Twitter has been outed as a repository for left-wing bias thanks to the overtones toward more free speech exhibited in anticipation of still-prospective owner Elon Musk, we can take a moment to shift the focus to YouTube, thanks to some recent news and commentary on the platform’s leanings.

Last Tuesday, it was learned that podcast host Jacob Kersey had a video of a 2021 podcast featuring election expert Hans von Spakovsky pulled from YouTube, with a claim that it “had been removed from the platform for violating the platform’s ‘misinformation’ policy surrounding the 2020 presidential election.” However, whether it was the initial outcry or from YouTube having second thoughts, the video was restored two days later. Was it really misinformation? You be the judge — a transcript of the podcast is attached to coverage by The Daily Signal. Either way, Spakovsky is a leading authority in the field.

While it can be reasonably argued that only a small part of Kersey’s audience was affected — his podcasts at various, well-known outlets bring in many more listeners than his YouTube channel — the same cannot be said for another outlet that’s been thwarted to a degree in expanding its influence nationally. St. Louis-based NewsTalk STL recently lost its entire YouTube channel thanks to what was deemed as “severe and repeated violations of our Community Guidelines.” As the station explained in a release: “NewsTalk STL has had some troubles with YouTube in the past. We have had two strikes against our channel due to ‘medical misinformation’ according to YouTube’s protocol. We know the platform has been working overtime to censor voices that do not match the ideology and political leaning of YouTube.”

But not every controversial voice is silenced by YouTube; just those guilty of “wrongthink.”

A case in double standards is a story about a YouTube channel called by Bailey Duran. “Why is YouTube allowing this organization to push its sexual agenda on kids?” asks Duran. “YouTube’s content policy clearly states, ‘Content that targets young minors and families but contains sexual themes, violence, obscene, or other mature themes not suitable for young audiences, is not allowed on YouTube.’” Yet the channel has more than 220,000 subscribers and 60 million total views, dealing with a range of “not safe for work” topics without any disclaimer that these subjects should be age appropriate. (To be fair, though, one of their many topics is abstinence, which is what probably maintains their status as an educational outlet.)

While Rumble, which is considered the “right-wing” alternative to YouTube, has fewer than one-tenth the user base that YouTube does, those on the Left remain concerned that these alternative sites will create “an echo chamber that experts fear will promote disinformation and outright lies about the midterm elections,” including “calls for violence.”

Paging Joe Biden’s Ministry of Truth Disinformation Governance Board

You see, it’s all about the power with the Left. As the Roll Call story by Gopal Ratnum continues, “Unlike the past two election cycles, when Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others worked with federal, state and local election officials to take down election-related misinformation, it’s unclear if the new apps and sites would take similar measures.” No, they’ll simply allow everyone — left, center, or right — to have their say, and the Left hates that with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Just ask Elon Musk how his life’s been going the last month.

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