Fact-checkers demand YouTube censor more content, boost “credible information”

Despite Big Tech censorship being at an all-time high, at GlobalFact 9, a fact-checking conference organized by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), YouTube was blasted for its failure to address “mis- and disinformation.”

IFCN had previously published an open letter to YouTube, asking the platform to do more to address the spread of misinformation.

“As an international network of fact-checking organizations, we monitor how lies spread online — and every day, we see that YouTube is one of the major conduits of online disinformation and misinformation worldwide. This is a significant concern among our global fact-checking community,” the IFCN wrote in the letter signed by over 100 fact-checking organizations.

During the fact-checking conference, several fact-checking organizations expressed similar sentiments.

“YouTube does not seem to raise accurate, credible information in its algorithms. We have had a lot of experience with YouTube making videos of fact-checking content. It doesn’t seem to do very well,” said Angie Drobnic Holan, editor-in-chief of PolitiFact. “I think most news organizations are extremely frustrated with your platform.”

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Google relents after Post fights censorship of YouTube interview with Jan. 6 rioter

Google said Wednesday it will allow a Post video interview with a Capitol rioter to remain on YouTube — after The Post exposed the platform’s censorship of the clip in a front-page story that pointed out the video helped convict the man.

The latest Big Tech attempt to squash The Post’s reporting occurred Monday when the Google-owned video site deleted the interview taped inside the Capitol — saying Brooklyn man Aaron Mostofsky, 35, spouted “misinformation.”

The video featuring Mostofsky, the son of Brooklyn judge Steven Mostofsky, was one of the only professional interviews conducted with a rioter inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. It was cited by many news outlets and the Justice Department used it to help prosecute Mostofsky, who last month was sentenced to eight months in prison.

Mostofsky, who was wearing fur pelts, a police vest and a riot shield that he said he “found,” said in the interview that he joined the first wave of intruders because the election was “stolen” from then-President Donald Trump, who had just finished making a speech with similar claims.

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YouTube censors New York Post interview

YouTube removed a video of the New York Post’s interview of Aaron Mostofsky, one of President Trump’s supporters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. YouTube claimed the video was removed over election misinformation.

“We realize this may be disappointing news, but it’s our job to make sure that YouTube is a safe place for all,” YouTube said in the removal notice. The removed video was posted on the personal channel of the reporter who conducted the interview just before the riot began.

“Content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of the US 2020 presidential election is not allowed on YouTube,” the platform added.

Mostofsky, the son of Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Steven Mostofsky, was one of the first rioters to storm the Capitol. He was clad in a fur costume, a police vest, and a police shield when he was interviewed by the Post. He said he had found the police gear.

During his trial, where he was sentenced to eight months in prison, it was revealed that he wore fur to show that “even a caveman knows the election was stolen.”

“Can you tell me what you’re doing here today?” the interview started.

“Well, to express my opinion as a free American, my belief that this election was stolen. We were cheated. I don’t think 75 million people voted for Trump, I think it was close to 85 million. I think certain states that had been blue for a long time had been red and were stolen like New York,” Mostofsky said.

“And where did you travel from?” the Post’s reporter asked.

“Brooklyn,” Mostofsky said.

“Can you tell me anything about the shield here?” the interviewer pressed.

“The shield? Found it on the floor. I found a cap and I gave it to the cops because it may be someone’s personal thing. This [shield], I have no idea. There’s no name. They probably just grab it. Looks like it’s been used a lot,” Mostofsky said.

“Should senators be afraid? Should House members be afraid?” the interviewer asked.

“They shouldn’t be afraid,” he replied. “They should find their courage to do their duty … to examine the fraud, maybe delay the election. I don’t know what to do. But we have a Constitution. You don’t rewrite the law because of COVID. It’s not ‘Give me liberty or give me death, but COVID.’”

The Post says YouTube’s election misinformation policy, like many other policies, is enforced arbitrarily.

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YouTuber 3D Prints “World’s First” Rocket Launcher And Fires At Target

3D printing has revolutionized gun-making and has come a long way since the single-shot “The Liberator” pistol was available for download in 2013. Now entire semiautomatic pistol carbines can be entirely printed at home, and weapon-making appears to have graduated to rocket launchers. 

Youtuber Ordnance Lab (also known as Ordnance Lab LLC and holds a Type 10 FFL) published a video showing what they say is the “world’s first 3D printed rocket launcher.” 

“In this video we team up with D&S Creations, who have developed 3D printed rockets and rocket launchers. We test both a smaller caliber rocket and a larger one, along with a prototype for a shaped charge warhead. This is just the start of our working on 3D printed rockets. We have the launch and detonation figured out, now we need to work on getting the accuracy figured out,” Ordnance Lab said in the video’s description. 

One firing test shows a 3D-printed rocket with a shaped charge denoting on a target. The narrator in the video said the “flash powder charge produced a very bright and loud report.” 

This is the first time we’ve seen 3D-printed rocket launchers demonstrated in a video. Earlier this year, Deterrence Dispensed, an online group that promotes and distributes open-source 3D-printed firearm blueprints, released a video showing the use of a “66mm recoilless launcher.” 

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Nuland-Pyatt Tape Removed From YouTube After 8 Years

The smoking gun proving U.S. involvement in the 2014 coup in Kiev has been removed from YouTube after eight years. 

It was one of the most watched versions of the intercepted and leaked conversation between then Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, the then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, in which the two discuss who will make up the new government weeks before democratically-elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in a violent coup on Feb. 21, 2014.

The two talk about “midwifing” the unconstitutional change of government and “gluing it together” and of the role then Vice President Joe Biden should play and what meetings to set up with Ukrainian politicians.

The U.S. State Department never denied the authenticity of the video, and even issued an apology to the European Union after Nuland is heard on the tape saying, “Fuck the E.U.” Mainstream media at the time focused almost exclusively on that off-color remark, ignoring the greater significance of U.S. interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs. 

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YouTube CEO at World Economic Forum: “There’ll always be work that we have to do” to censor “misinformation”

At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting for 2022, an event where powerful CEOs and world leaders meet to “find solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki committed to persistent censorship of “misinformation” and praised YouTube’s existing censorship efforts.

Wojcicki made the comments after Alyson Shontell Lombardi, the Editor-in-Chief of Fortune Magazine, asked her whether YouTube’s efforts to censor misinformation will always be a “work in progress.”

“I think there’ll always be work that we have to do because there will always be incentives for people to be creating misinformation,” Wojcicki said. “The challenge will be to keep staying ahead of that and make sure that we are understanding what they are and the different ways that people may use to try to trick our systems and make sure that our systems are staying ahead of what’s necessary to make sure that we are managing that.”

Wojcicki continued by praising YouTube’s 5-6 year initiative of cracking down on content that’s deemed to be misinformation and said that users who look at YouTube search results or the homepage will see content from “authoritative sources” (mainstream media outlets that YouTube designates as authoritative) for “sensitive topics.”

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Why Does YouTube Host This Channel That Teaches Kids About Porn And Abortion?

Amaze Org is a predatory YouTube channel that says it aims to “take the awkward” out of sex education for kids and boasts about its age-appropriate content for this digital generation of children. It has more than 220,000 subscribers and its free videos have a combined total of more than 60 million views.  

Why is YouTube allowing this organization to push its sexual agenda on kids? 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.”

On Amaze Org’s about page, the organization says its mission is “to provide young adolescents around the globe with medically accurate, age-appropriate, affirming, and honest sex education they can access directly online.” They also provide curricula for schools, parents, and “allies.”

Their videos can be accessed on their website, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. The topics covered in the videos are gender identity, sexuality, abortion, birth control, puberty, masturbation, pornography, abortion, and more. It’s all explicit and not appropriate for children.

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YouTube to shift video flagging powers towards NGOs and Government Agencies

Starting in May, YouTube will not allow individuals in its controversial Trusted Flagger program, instead focusing “exclusively on key partnerships with a variety of NGOs and Government Agencies.”

The Trusted Flagger program began in 2012 as a communal volunteer effort to remove content that violates YouTube’s policies. It worked with NGO and government agencies as well as hand-picked individuals that were never publicly disclosed.

Those participating in the program have access to a variety of tools not available to ordinary users. For instance, they can flag multiple videos simultaneously, their reports are prioritized, and they get to understand how YouTube makes content removal decisions.

Last year, Tubefilter reported that individual flaggers had begun noticing a decline in their experience within the Trusted Flaggers program. Additionally, those who reached Google’s global director of information policy, government affairs, and public policy Derek Slater were reportedly told that the program would no longer be available to individuals.

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YouTube CEO meets with group wanting curbs on Spanish-language “misinformation”

On Thursday, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) met with YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki to discuss Spanish-language “misinformation.”

In a press release, the CHC said addressing Spanish-language dis/misinformation was a priority as more Hispanics in the country are using social media to get information.

Chair of the CHC, Dr. Raul Ruiz said: “We appreciate Susan Wojcicki, YouTube CEO, for meeting with CHC Members today to answer our concerns on Spanish-language dis/misinformation. Lies cost lives, and the CHC continues to call for strengthened oversight and to push social media companies to bolster their infrastructure to combat dis/misinformation on their platforms. Addressing the rampant spread of Spanish-language dis/misinformation remains an urgent priority for the CHC as Hispanics across the country increasingly turn to social media for vital information.”

Member of the CHC, Rep. Darren Soto said: “In Florida, we’ve seen Spanish-language misinformation spread like wildfire and threaten our communities. With more and more people turning to social media to receive information, we must ensure that content is reviewed thoroughly before reaching mass audiences. As more and more bad actors purposely aim to spread lies to vulnerable populations, platforms like YouTube have a responsibility to prevent them from having the power to influence public opinion. I believe that our conversation with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki was extremely productive, and I hope to see YouTube use ample resources to combat Spanish-language misinformation.”

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Police are Still Weaponizing Copyright to Prevent Transparency

YouTube and other social media websites have strict rules on playing copyrighted content. Police have been using that to prevent embarrassing videos from being posted on the platforms.

Residents in Santa Ana, California were woken up by blasting music around 11pm on April 4, a Monday. But the music was not a bass bumping rap song or a heavy metal piece with screaming vocals, it was “We Don’t Talk about Bruno” from the animated Disney film “Encanto.” And it was not being played by a teenage house party or an inconsiderate driver with a loud sound system, but a police vehicle.

Police responded to a stolen vehicle call in the neighborhood when an observer who runs the YouTube channel Santa Ana Audits started recording the activity. That’s when officers started blasting the Disney owned track, in an apparent attempt to prevent the video from being posted on YouTube and Instagram. Thanks to those platform’s algorithmic copyright enforcement, any video that includes a copyrighted song is susceptible to being removed. Its channel owners are also subject to warnings and even getting banned from the platform.

Unfortunately for Santa Ana Police, they happened to be in the neighborhood of city councilman David Penaloza who, like many of his neighbors, was awakened by the ruckus caused by the city’s police department.

Penaloza came outside and confronted the officer, who admitted that what he was doing was intended to prevent the video captured by Santa Ana Audits making its way onto YouTube.

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