Video sharing platform enforces new rules against "extremist content"
YouTube has just announced they have changed their "community standards" to combat "extremist content" on their platform. This is just the latest step in the war against free speech online.
This move comes as no surprise – the press have been laying the groundwork for this for weeks, even months.
Three weeks ago Buzzfeed reported that YouTube's monetised chat was "pushing creators to more extreme content", and just yesterday it was reported that YouTube's recommend algorithm was "sexualising children".
Given that, it comes as no surprise that the mainstream media are celebrating this latest "purge".The Guardian reported:
YouTube bans videos promoting Nazi ideology
Whilst the Financial Times went with:
YouTube to ban supremacist videos
Both these headlines are wildly inaccurate, deliberately playing the racism/white supremacy angle in the hopes that people will clap along without reading anything else.
Vox was a little more truthful in its headline, reporting:
YouTube finally banned content from neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and Sandy Hook skeptics
The Independent likewise:
YouTube to delete thousands of accounts after it bans supremacists, conspiracy theorists and other 'harmful' users
However, even these headlines – though a touch closer to the whole truth – leave out some really important information (I'm sure entirely by accident).
As much as the media are playing the neo-Nazi/hate speech angle, there's far more to it than that.
To really dig down into what this means, we need to ignore the media and go straight to the source. This is YouTube's official statement on the matter, posted on their blog.
The bans, contrary to the media headlines, are not about racism. They are far more incoherent than that – they are about "supremacist content".
YouTube's delightfully vague description of which, is as follows:
videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.