Opening Insights: Censoring Americans
Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.
What if I told you that the information you were looking for online existed, but it was blocked from your view by companies that didn't want you to see it? What if those companies decided to allow you to see what you were looking for, but they had edited out or blocked the offensive parts?
What if it was The United States Constitution that you were looking for, or a speech by a great leader from our past? What if it was a report from a trusted news source, or information about a public representative that you support and want to see elected?
Should companies like Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have the power to block and edit the free speech of Americans?
The CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki believes that free speech should be carefully policed, and blocked if necessary.
Informational Insights: Blocking "Offensive" Content
The following article was published by Townhall, "the #1 conservative website." It was written by Bronson Stocking, a writer for Townhall.com.
60 Minutes found over 300 Trump ads have been taken down by Google and YouTube for violating the companies' policies. The report notes the campaign videos generally ran over the summer but were taken down by the companies after only a few days.
During an interview with 60 Minutes, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki was asked to respond to conservative critics who say YouTube discriminates against content creators with a conservative viewpoint.
"Well, first of all," Wojcicki began, "there are lots of very successful conservative creators on YouTube... Our systems, our algorithms, they don't have any concept of understanding what's a Democrat, what's a Republican. They don't have any concept of political bias built into them in any way. And we do hear this criticism from all sides. We also have people who come from more liberal backgrounds who complain about discrimination. And so I think that no matter who you are, we are trying to enforce our policies in a consistent way for everybody."
May we see YouTube's algorithm to confirm what she is saying? Of course not.
YouTube stumbled over their words to explain why the company demonetized conservative commentator and comedian Steven Crowder over the summer. Investigative journalist James O'Keefe has had several videos of his removed by YouTube over the years. In 2018, YouTube banned pro-gun groups from their platform. There are plenty of more examples, but you get the gist.
When a Google employee wrote a letter exposing the "outrage mobs" and "witch hunts" formed by the company's leftist employees who want Google to sever ties with right-leaning groups and individuals, Google fired the whistleblower. Earlier this year, Project Veritas exposed a Google executive who considers it her mission to "prevent" the next "Trump situation" from occurring.
Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats are feuding with another tech giant, Facebook, over its decision not to censor political ads.
In a speech at Georgetown University in October, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave a strong defense of his company’s decision not to censor political speech on its platform. “I know many people disagree, but, in general, I don’t think it’s right for a private company to censor politicians or the news in a democracy,” Zuckerberg told the crowd. “As a principle, in a democracy, I believe people should decide what is credible, not tech companies.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced in late October that his platform would not be running political advertisements.
"A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet," Dorsey tweeted. "Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people."
Dorsey's ban on political advertisements is a boon for incumbents. Of course, if every company banned political advertisements, how many people would have access to political speech?
60 Minutes reviewed the archive of the over 300 plus Trump ads that were taken down by YouTube and Google for allegedly violating company policy. The archive does not state the specific reason why each video was removed. But based on their track record, should Google and YouTube really decide which political advertisements the American people see?
This article originally appeared in TOWNHALL: Google and YouTube Take Down Over 300 Trump Ads
Possibilities for Consideration: Freedom Dies from Apathy
Censorship is alive and well in the American online news media, social media, the internet, broadcasting and so on. Your views, which may have been completely acceptable 5-10 years ago, are now potentially being flagged as inflammatory, dangerous, racist, inhumane and harmful to the delicate sensibility of others.
Minorities, who may not agree with you, now have the power to silence you and there is nothing you can do about it. The big tech, media and publishing companies are making it happen.
Freedom is dying at an incredible rate. The apathy of Americans is its primary accelerator. If you want to do something to turn this nightmare scenario around then begin by filling out the SocraticQ toward the bottom of this page.
You will find that you are not alone.
Add Your Insight
Take a moment and examine…
- As you reviewed the material above, what stood out to you?
- What is the potential impact, economically and/or socially?
- What action is needed to stop or support this idea?
- You may want to consider whether you:
- want to be aware of,
- should become supportive of,
- would want to be active in this topic?
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do.
LEONARDO DA VINCI