Former Congressman Dr. Ron Paul has been censored by YouTube again, this time for posting an episode of his political talk show titled “What’s in it for Bill Gates – Does He Want To Rule The World?” which YouTube deemed to be “medical misinformation.”
In the episode, Dr. Paul and his co-host Daniel McAdams, Executive Director of The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, discussed recent coronavirus statistics that had been released, the negative economic impacts of lockdowns, the way governors and police forces have used the coronavirus to exert power, the media’s coronavirus fear mongering, and speculated on Bill Gates’ motives amid the pandemic.
Specifically, they noted that Gates has “all the money he could possibly need,” stated that Gates has “a demonstrated history and track record of believing very strongly that the world is overpopulated and that we need population control,” and referenced news reports of Gates-backed vaccines causing polio outbreaks in Africa.
After an unprecedented year of YouTube censorship, the Freedom Forum Institute, a group which states that its mission is “to foster First Amendment freedoms for all,” has given YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki a Free Expression Award.
The homepage for the 2021 Free Expression Awards and Festival states that it recognizes individuals “for their courageous acts of free and fearless expression” and lists YouTube as a “signature sponsor” of the event.
In a video promoting the award, Wojcicki proposed that removing content only becomes censorship when you go “too far”:
“We’re removing content that violates our policies. You can go too far and that can become censorship, and so we have been working really hard to figure out what’s the right way to balance responsibility with freedom of speech.”
During an interview, she then discussed how censorship impacted her personally when her grandfather stayed in Poland after World War Two and was behind the Iron Curtain – a political boundary that divided Europe for more than 45 years and was infamous for the way open contact with those inside the Iron Curtain was heavily censored.
I posted Episode 398 of The Corbett Report podcast, “Science Says,” around 10 PM Japanese Standard Time on Friday, April 9th, 2021, and then went to bed. Sometime shortly after midnight, the main Corbett Report channel was removed from YouTube.
And, just like that, 14 years of work—some 1700+ videos, 569,000+ subscribers and 90 million+ video views—was erased from the digital ether. . . . Well, the GooTube portion of that digital ether, anyway.
Given that I’ve been promoting YouTube alternatives since at least 2009, and given that I have made video after video after video after video after video warning my audience that I would be banned from GooTube, and given that I even delivered a presentation last year noting that The Library of Alexandria is on Fire, it’s safe to say that this news did not catch me off guard. Learning about the banning after waking up on Saturday morning, my only thought was, “Well, that took longer than I expected.”
Indeed, it was not surprising in any sense that this was the report that led to GooTube purging my main channel. When you release a video on an account that already has two strikes for information that “contradicts the World Health Organization (WHO) or local health authorities’ medical information about COVID-19” and that video itself contains information calling those very authorities’ pronouncements into question, you better believe the thought that this might be your last YouTube upload crosses your mind when you push that publish button. Heck, the “offending” podcast even centers around an op ed comparing COVID skeptics to terrorists and calling for the UN to mount a “counteroffensive” against them. Of course this video was going to be censored.
During an appearance at the World Economic Forum Global Technology Governance Summit 2021, an event where more than 40 governments and 150 companies meet to ensure “the responsible design and deployment of emerging technologies,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki expressed her support for tech platforms moderating content that’s “technically legal but could be harmful” and praised global coalitions that help Big Tech coordinate and automate their censorship efforts.
Wojcicki said that when tech companies comply with the law, there are still “issues around speech” and suggested that these issues should be addressed by private corporations.
“I see a lot of issues around speech and what should or should not be allowed on platforms for example,” Wojcicki said. “And that’s a really tough area. Now, certainly countries pass certain laws and we comply with all the laws that the different countries pass but a lot of times, there’s content that’s legal but could be seen as harmful. And it’s hard for governments to necessarily find the right way to regulate it.”
She then proposed YouTube’s model of privately policing what the platform deems to be COVID-19 “misinformation” as an effective way to handle this content that’s “legal but could be harmful.”
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has acknowledged that the platform’s policy of boosting “authoritative” mainstream media sources and suppressing independent creators in search makes it “harder, in some cases, for channels, maybe who are getting started or smaller, to be able to be visible when there’s a major event or when people are looking at something that is science or news related” but insists that that the policy is “really, really important.”
Wojcicki made the comments during an interview with The Atlantic’s CEO, Nicholas Thompson, at the World Economic Forum’s Global Technology Governance Summit 2021.
While she acknowledged that this policy does make it harder for creators in some cases, Wojcicki argued that the policy is necessary:
“When we had the Las Vegas shooting, unfortunately, there were a lot of people who were uploading content that was not factual, that was not correct. And it’s much easier to just make up content and post it from your, your basement than it is to actually go to the site and to be able to report and have high-quality journalistic reporting. And so, that was just an example of what happens if you don’t have that kind of ranking.
So sure, we want to enable citizen journalism and other people to be able to report and other people to be able to share information on new channels but when we’re dealing with a sensitive topic, we have to have that information coming from authoritative sources so that the right and accurate information is viewed by our users first.”
Thompson followed up by pointing out that such a policy seems to go against the whole principle of YouTube.
Google-owned YouTube took down a video of a roundtable conference hosted by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), featuring former White House coronavirus task force member and medical scholar Scott Atlas, and the three co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration.
The Great Barrington declaration argues that blanket lockdowns and mask mandates are counterproductive, instead advocating for a targeted approach focused on protecting vulnerable segments of the population.
The three co-authors, who attended Gov. DeSantis’ roundable, are Harvard professor of medicine Martin Kulldorff, Oxford professor of epidemiology Sunetra Gupta, and Stanford professor of medicine and epidemiologist Jay Bhattacharya.
YouTube has deleted about 2.5 million ‘dislikes’ from videos on the official White House channel of President Joe Biden, according to data collected and posted online by a researcher who wished to remain anonymous. YouTube recently announced that it’s testing a new page design that hides the dislike count.
The Google-owned video platform allows users to give videos either a thumb up (like) or thumb down (dislike). For at least two years, it’s had a policy to remove likes and dislikes it considers spam.
“We have policies and systems in place to ensure that the engagement on YouTube is authentic, and remove any fraudulent metrics,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email, but when asked, wouldn’t go into details on what criteria it uses to make these calls.