In this day and age, there simply aren’t many places left for conservatives to go to advance the cause of liberty. The mainstream media is dominated by liberal pundits and commentators, most of whom have no interest whatsoever in telling the people the truth. Leftists also run Hollywood, which is why the majority of movies today lack conservative messages and instead promote concepts like social justice and class warfare. With really no other place to go, many conservatives are turning to the Internet to advance their message of small government and constitutionalism. Conservative radio host Mark Levin, for instance, launched an internet-based television show last year called Levin TV, and Michelle Malkin hosts her own program called Michelle Malkin Investigates.
For thousands of other conservatives across the country, YouTube has become a popular outlet primarily due to how convenient and easy to use it is. Sadly, thanks to new plans that YouTube’s parent company Google recently announced, it appears that even the Internet’s most popular video sharing website may no longer be safe for conservatives and liberty-minded Americans.
According to a recent post on YouTube’s official blog, users will soon have the power to restrict certain content that they deem to be promoting “hate speech” or “violent extremism,” even if the person who originally uploaded the video followed all of YouTube’s rules and guidelines. This new restriction scheme could, of course, apply to anyone discussing the truth about vaccines, dangerous prescription medications or antidepressant drugs.
“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,” the blog post reads. “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. The videos will remain on YouTube behind an interstitial, won’t be recommended, won’t be monetized, and won’t have key features including comments, suggested videos, and likes.”
The video sharing website has also launched a “trusted flagger” program, which consists of 15 “expert NGOs and institutions” that will help YouTube identify videos that contain hate speech and extremism. One of these organizations is the left wing No Hate Speech Movement and the Anti-Defamation League, whose president in the past has been accused of “manufacturing outrage” by the World Jewish Congress.
On the surface, these new rules and guidelines don’t seem too unreasonable. After all, the majority of Americans are opposed to hate speech and violent extremism, regardless of whether it’s conveyed through the Internet or some other platform. The problem with what YouTube is doing, however, has to do with the very real potential for abuse.
Imagine, for example, a YouTube account that publishes a video criticizing the idea of Shariah Law in America. From a conservative’s perspective, such a video would not be the least bit controversial. It is a fact that under Shariah Law, homosexuals are stoned to death, women are treated as property rather than as human beings, and anyone who does not accept this lifestyle is to be executed. Therefore, a video about the dangers of radical Islam and Shariah Law seems reasonable and entirely acceptable.
However, with YouTube’s new guidelines, all it would take for that video to be restricted is a group of leftists to sign on to the Internet and excessively flag it as hate speech. In no time at all, the video would effectively be hidden from the rest of the YouTube community.
On several different occasions, YouTube has taken action against conservatives and prevented them from practicing their First Amendment free speech rights. In January of this year, for instance, the conservative YouTube channel Legal Insurrection was banned from posting videos due to what YouTube called “copyright infringement.” However, the founder of Legal Insurrection argued that the ban was triggered by anti-Israel activists.
If conservatives allow the Internet to become dominated by progressives that are hell-bent on shutting down right-of-center thought, then there will be nowhere else to go. With the mainstream media, Hollywood and the Internet controlled by leftists, it will be nearly impossible to effectively deliver our message to the American people. That is why it is up to patriots throughout the country to make a stand and ensure that we never get to that point.