With the war between mainstream and independent media heating up, YouTube has weaponized a new content censorship program, calling it an effort to fight terror content online. With standards set by groups like the Anti-Defamation League, political agendas are sure to intrude.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA Ever since fake news found its place among the various explanations used by the Clinton campaign and supporters to account for their candidates loss, there has been a quiet but concerted effort on the part of establishment media, technology, and telecommunications companies to thwart the surging popularity of independent media.
The rise of the independent media has been hugely detrimental to the once privileged position of the mainstream media, who have now lost the trust of the vast majority of Americans and along with that trust their ability to control political and social narratives.
Chief among the groups seeking to clamp down on independent media has been Google, the massive technology company with deep connections to the U.S. intelligence community, as well as to U.S. government and business elites.
Since 2015, Google has worked to become the Internets Ministry of Truth, first through its creation of the First Draft Coalition and more recently via major changes made to its search engine that curtail public access to new sites independent of the corporate media.
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Google has now stepped up its war on free speech and the freedom of the press through its popular subsidiary, YouTube. On Tuesday, YouTube announced online that it is set to begin censoring content deemed controversial, even if that content does not break any laws or violate YouTubes user agreement.
Misleadingly dubbed as an effort to fight terror content online, the new program will flag content for review through a mix of machine algorithms and human review, guided by standards set up by expert NGOs and institutions that are part of YouTubes Trusted Flagger program. YouTube stated that such organizations bring expert knowledge of complex issues like hate speech, radicalization, and terrorism.
One of the leading institutions directing the course of the Trusted Flagger program is the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The ADL was initially founded to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all but has gained a reputation over the years for labeling any critic of Israels government as an anti-Semite.
For instance, characterizing Israeli policies towards the Palestinians as racist or apartheid-like is considered hate speech by the ADL, as is accusing Israel of war crimes or attempted ethnic cleansing. The ADL has even described explicitly Jewish organizations who are critical of Israels government as being anti-Semitic.
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In addition to its labeling of Palestinian rights activists as extremists, the ADL has also given numerous U.S. conservatives the same label, including Mike Cernovich and Gavin McInnes. Cernovich and McInnes, though controversial, are extremely popular figures among conservatives and Trump supporters on YouTube and social media. Cernovichs website, Danger & Play, gets nearly 150 million views every month. McInnes, co-founder of Vice Media, also enjoys a wide viewership, with many of his videos boasting millions of views.
The ADL is also known for being quite selective in identifying what it terms extremism.
While it consistently labels pro-Palestinian groups and those critical of the Israeli government as extremists, it has avoided that label with respect to the right-wing Israeli groups and figures that openly call for the murder or even genocide of Palestinians.
In addition, although it has flagged figures of the so-called alt-right, the ADL has not done the same for similar left-wing groups such as Antifa, a group some states have listed as a domestic terror organization. With the ADL at the helm, YouTubes new censorship policy is likely to selectively target those critical of Israels government, as well as conservative voices.
Even more unsettling, YouTubes new policy doesnt stop with merely censoring content.
According to the announcement, any user who searches for keywords or terms deemed controversial by YouTubes chosen authorities will be redirected to a playlist of curated videos intended to directly confront and debunk the content sought by the user.
Critics have warned that the mix of censorship and redirection to curated propaganda videos would create a PC, extreme-left, propagandizing echo chamber with consequences that would go far beyond combatting online terrorism. Indeed, given that Googles Jigsaw once created tools intended to bolster the ranks of al-Qaeda in Syria, Google and YouTubes desire to fight the spread of actual terrorism is dubious, making it all the more likely that this latest move is instead targeting free speech and expression.
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YouTube Moves To Censor Controversial Content Brings ADL On Board As Flagger – Mintpress News (blog)
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