Google is continuing down its path to outright censorship of non-sanctioned ideas. We all know that YouTube and Google are run by ruthless tech guys with a leftist bent. However, they’re showing more and more just how far left they really are.
The Coming Changes
On the surface, Google is turning YouTube into an online version of TV. It’s becoming safe, sanitized, and cleanly progressive. However, the way it is implementing this agenda should raise everyone’s eyebrows.
Collaborating with progressive NGOs like the No Hate Speech Movement, Google is trying to limit what sort of content goes on YouTube. It looks like their goal is to cleanse YouTube as a platform, leaving it filled with videos by the Young Turks and other approved producers.
Google is also bringing in AI programs, which can weed out “harmful” content without ever being seen by a person:
We’ll soon be applying tougher treatment to videos that aren’t illegal but have been flagged by users as potential violations of our policies on hate speech and violent extremism. If we find that these videos don’t violate our policies but contain controversial religious or supremacist content, they will be placed in a limited state.
Who decides what “potential violations” includes? Would it include a man like Tommy Robinson, who labors to expose radical Islam in the UK? Would it apply to the obnoxiously anti-feminist cracks of Milo, or the criticisms of Sargon of Akkad?
Lifezette recently reported that Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson had his account inexplicably blocked, and then, just as mysteriously, re-opened. There is no process of complaint, no appeal, no way to hear the complaint made against him, if there was one.
If something smells bad, it probably is bad. And this new move reeks.
Controlling Our Internet Content
Google is moving towards controlling what we consume online. Attempts to control of what sort of media we read, watch, and listen to comes in two main forms: outright bans and soft prohibitions.
The first is the outright ban. Churches and governments have tried to censor works to keep them away from their adherents or citizens.
Historically, this doesn’t work. People have risked life and limb to spread controversial ideas where the powerful didn’t want them. Dissidents have spread both secular texts, like those of the philosopher Solzhenitsyn in Soviet Russia, and religious texts, such as the Bible in areas hostile to Christianity. Hopefully, we’ve learned by now that bans only make content more interesting to a certain set of people.
The second kind of control is the soft kind. Governments, seeing the problems with outright bans, try to shape what the public sees.
The Fairness Doctrine of 1949 is an example of soft censorship. It forced all American radio stations to put different sides of a political issues on the air. The doctrine has since been shown to be illogical.
When President Reagan rescinded the Doctrine in 1987, the Right swept the field and has dominated talk radio for decades. Now they’re taking over the online world; bloggers, comics and YouTubers are challenging the prevailing opinions of the mainstream media.
Is the Right at Risk?
There is little that MSNBC, CNN or any other major news outlet can do to harm online content creators. They can complain about them, expose them and smear them, but that’s about it.
What Google is doing to YouTube is far more dangerous. YouTube –arguably the biggest platform for online video content of all kinds–is one of the only companies capable of countering the success of right-of-center content creators.
Google has shown an eager willingness to go along with online censorship. Perhaps they’ve adopted Mika Brzezinski’s belief that telling people what to think is their job, that they’re today’s platonic “guardian class,” dictating from on-high.
What will we see next? Will Google start to bury sites it doesn’t like in the 8000th page of search results? We already know they’ve manipulated their algorithms to promote politically useful results once, but will they do so again?