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YouTube’s Response to Recent Censorship/Purge: New Moderators “Mistakenly” Pull Right-Wing Channels

(CitizensOutpost)  Many conservative and right-wing channels have been complaining about censorship on YouTube recently.  Primarily videos that criticize the anti-gun Parkland school shooting survivor students have become the target of such censorship.

Via Breitbart News:

Under pressure from the mainstream media, YouTube is censoring videos attacking the credibility of anti-gun Parkland students. They say they’re only going after so-called “conspiracy theories” — but now they’re censoring criticism of CNN too.

Conservative YouTube creator and Berkeley student Ashton Whitty had her video, which criticized CNN and analyzed a clip from Tucker Carlson Tonight, removed from the platform after YouTube accused her of “bullying,” engaging in “personal attacks,” and “harassment,” despite the fact she rejected theories that the Parkland students-turned-media personalities were “crisis actors.” The video was eventually reinstated – two days later, when the news cycle had moved on.

There have also been other prominent news outlets that have fallen under YouTube’s scrutiny, such as InfoWars, which has more than two million subscribers and which earlier this week received a second strike due to violations of YouTube’s policies accusing the news outlet of promoting conspiracy theories.  As of yesterday the second strike has been removed without reason, perhaps in response to the backlash the online community has been engaged in, but there appears to be a persistent battle with censorship in the alternative media on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Other reports are coming out on this topic to try and shed light on the underlying cause:

Via Bloomberg Technology:

Some YouTube channels recently complained about their accounts being pulled entirely. On Wednesday, the Outline highlighted accounts, including Titus Frost, that were banned from the video site. Frost tweeted on Wednesday that a survivor of the shooting, David Hogg, is an actor. Jerome Corsi of right-wing conspiracy website Infowars said on Tuesday that YouTube had taken down one of his videos and disabled his live stream.

Shutting entire channels would have marked a sweeping policy change for YouTube, which typically only removes channels in extreme circumstances and focuses most disciplinary action on specific videos. But YouTube said some content was taken down by mistake. The site didn’t address specific cases and it’s unclear if it meant to take action on the accounts of Frost and Corsi.

“As we work to hire rapidly and ramp up our policy enforcement teams throughout 2018, newer members may misapply some of our policies resulting in mistaken removals,” a YouTube spokeswoman wrote in an email. “We’re continuing to enforce our existing policies regarding harmful and dangerous content, they have not changed. We’ll reinstate any videos that were removed in error.”

Between controversial debates and free thought, Google needs to be careful not to overstep its bounds in policing internet content.  Much like the enforcement of government laws, it would behoove the Alphabet giant to be mindful of how to properly enforce its policies within its digital ecosystem.  With more alternatives to YouTube being propped up as of late such as D.Tube and BitChute, the free market will shift towards other platforms if YouTube clamps down too hard and alienates its conservative and alternative channels.