YouTube Censors Video on Censorship

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on November 2, 2016

Excerpted from an Oct. 30 Wall Street Journal editorial:

On Thursday, Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel posted a video under the title “The Dark Art of Political Intimidation. It is a discourse on the First Amendment and the tactics that progressives are using to limit speech and political engagement by conservatives.”

Within several hours of PragerU posting the video, YouTube placed it in ‘restricted mode,’ making it inaccessible to schools, libraries and young Americans whose parents have enabled YouTube technology filters.

Conservative radio host Dennis Prager’s idea for PragerU is to give students alternative, non-progressive takes on history, civics and other issues. Of the 100+ PragerU videos, YouTube has restricted 18 of them, even though there’s no cursing, no violence or any kind of indecency in any of them. What the PragerU videos have done is present ideas that criticize progressives (liberals).

YouTube told the WSJ that “video restrictions are decided by an ‘algorithm’ that factors in ‘community flagging’ and ‘sensitive content.’” [In other words, the algorithm was tripped by progressives trying to limit speech and political engagement by conservatives. Flag a video enough times and the restrictions kick in.]

After the Wall Street Journal questioned YouTube Friday, they noticed YouTube had lifted the restriction on that video over the weekend.

In a Sunday statement, YouTube said that its “system looks at a number of factors over time,” and that “content offering may change as a result of additional evaluation by our algorithms.” Blaming this on a non-transparent and changing algorithm is convenient for YouTube, but it doesn’t provide freedom for the other 17 PragerU videos that deserve to be free from restriction.

America’s social-media platforms are getting a reputation this election season for censoring conservatives. They can run their businesses as they choose, but the rest of us can also treat YouTube’s claim of supporting free expression with the skepticism it deserves. (from an Oct. 30 WSJ editorial)

Watch the video restricted by YouTube then answer the questions below: