YouTube’s Latest Purge
Video sharing platform enforces new rules against “extremist content”
The bans, contrary to the media headlines, are not about racism. They are far more incoherent than that – they are about “supremacist content”.
YouTube’s delightfully vague description of which, is as follows:
videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.
Honestly, almost any video you wanted – that expresses a political position – could be twisted into fitting that description. But it doesn’t end there:
Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.
What does “well documented” mean? It’s a deliberately ambiguous phrase.
The cited examples, the Holocaust and Sandy Hook, are chosen for shock value – but they are only examples: “Like the holocaust”.
What other examples might there be? The Douma gas attack from last year? The poisoning of Sergei Skripal?
You can’t deny people the right to ask simple questions. “Did that really happen?”, “Is the government telling the truth?”
These are the basic questions of journalism. You can’t simply pass history off as “well documented” and put it beyond question. Don’t let them cite the Holocaust as an example to bully you into silence. Free speech applies to all topics, and all opinions, no matter how “well documented” they are.
In an increasingly fake world, where government actions are routinely narrative-based rather than reality-based, outlawing the ability to simply say “that didn’t happen, you made that up!” is incredibly powerful.