Big TechPolitics

YouTube to censor videos questioning 2020 US election

YouTube has announced that, as of December 9, any content that questions the 2020 US election results will be removed from the platform, regardless of the validity of the claims.

The company has long been known for its censorship practices and its complete shift from a platform for independent users to a heavily corporate focus over the years, and its latest move illustrates its position as a publisher rather than a platform.

The Ministry of Truth has spoken

This announcement is a textbook example of how Google, in line with its self-anointed role of becoming the Ministry of Truth, uses Orwellian doublespeak to make clear and unjustified censorship appear not only normal but absolutely necessary.

“We will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, in line with our approach towards historical U.S. Presidential elections,” its statement read.

“For example, we will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors.

“We will begin enforcing this policy today, and will ramp up in the weeks to come.”

There is a troubling and sinister insinuation in the above statements, as it presupposes that any content that suggests fraud of some kind is misleading by default, rather than worthy of scrutiny.

Surely it is in the public interest, particularly in the most impactful election not only on a national level but on the international stage, to scrutinize that it has been appropriately conducted, which is crucial for safeguarding the democratic process.

Inconsistencies and hypocrisies demand scrutiny

Let’s not forget, this is the same company which, since 2016 has fuelled the theory that Russia swayed the last presidential election into the Republicans’ favor, and even when this was ruled out in court have continued to flout it. Not only does it repeat this false theory, but it was based on this theory that Google changed its algorithms to boost mainstream outlets to the top of its searches and relegated alternative media outlets into obscurity.

Given that Google’s parent company Alphabet donated more money than any tech giant to the elections – with 80 percent of 21 million dollars going to Democrat presidential and congressional candidates, and just 7 percent to Republicans – its impartiality must be called into question.

In any other industry, such persistent and one-way funding towards a political party would raise flags of potential conflicts of interest, yet Google, which has been among the biggest media donors of the Democratic Party this century, not a word is muttered.

Yet far from hiding its censorship, YouTube boasts that it has removed thousands of channels amid the election cycle.

“Since September, we’ve terminated over 8,000 channels and thousands of harmful and misleading elections-related videos for violating our existing policies. Over 77% of those removed videos were taken down before they had 100 views,” YouTube stated.

Unfortunately, there is very little justification or transparency on why videos are erased, other than the fact that they violated their subjective Community Guidelines.

It is time to remove the Section 230 legal immunity shield that protects Big Tech monopolies and social media companies who engage in certain manipulative practices, including acting as publishers and censoring certain users.