Share this article:
I have never been a fan of Alex Jones and Infowars, and I strongly reject some of the conspiracy theories Jones has put forth.
But if it is true that his channel could be removed from YouTube, we should not ignore this, whether we are on the left or right or in between, especially since the Daily Caller reported that, "YouTube is getting help from the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center in its effort to identify extremist content."
The SPLC? I would honestly have a hard time coming up with a major organization that I would trust less than the SPLC to help YouTube, an organization rightly branded an anti-Christian hate group.
Writing for Polygon.com, Julia Alexander noted that, "Whenever YouTube institutes a tougher moderation stance, a common debate emerges over censorship -- especially from notable conservative voices."
Specifically, she explained, "Questions over YouTube's moderators and the power they hold were raised this week after notable conservative pundits, gun advocates, conspiracy channels and other right-wing voices received community strikes or were locked out of their channels.
Creators who are affected by lockouts, strikes and suspensions are referring to it as the 'YouTube Purge,' claiming that YouTube is purging all right-wing or pro-gun content. The move follows the company's attempt to clamp down on dangerous content following the Parkland shooting."
To be sure, YouTube must do a careful balancing act, removing certain content without infringing on lawful free speech. And some content should be removed.
For example, does anyone think that someone should have the "right" to post a map to your house with pictures of your family, replete with false accusations against you and a call to burn your house down? Obviously not.
But the so-called "YouTube Purge" raises many concerns, even if Jones has not accurately represented his own situation in every detail.
Prager U is currently in a legal battle with YouTube, and their web page announcing the lawsuit begins with a quote from former California Governor Pete Wilson: "This is speech discrimination plain and simple, censorship based entirely on unspecified ideological objection to the message or on the perceived identity and political viewpoint of the speaker."
Many others have voiced complaint with YouTube's uneven, censorious policies, and on a weekly (or, daily basis), my organization has to request the review of videos on the AskDrBrown YouTube page after they are flagged as being Not Suitable for Most Advertisers.
I'm not sure if we have trolls complaining about our videos or if it's just part of YouTube's very flawed system, but something is obviously wrong when YouTube flags and demonetizes videos like "What Made Billy Graham Special" and "A Common-Sense Discussion About Guns and Gun Control" and "Overcoming Hatred with Love; and How Christians Can Regain Credibility in America."
And all the while, YouTube allows vile, hate-filled, incendiary videos from the left to proliferate. Some would even argue that they promote such leftist videos, while demoting (or demonetizing or blocking or removing) videos which express a contrary, conservative point of view.
Indeed, Jim Hoft on Gateway Pundit is now reporting that "Google-YouTube is shutting down prominent conservative and right-leaning channels" and that "Google-YouTube is also blocking conservative channels -- Like the Official Gateway Pundit channel -- from posting."
Not only so, Hoft states that, "Google is also altering search results to portray far left websites and organizations as conservative. Today if you search Google for a list of pro-life organizations you get this... Google lists Planned Parenthood as the top Pro-Life website."
As ridiculous as this sounds, this is no joke, and it is similar to what recently happened to Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer and others who warn against radical Islamic jihad.
And so, whether you're an Infowars fan or you find their work distasteful, their potential removal from YouTube should concern you.
Otherwise, soon enough, we'll have our own version of Martin Niemöller's famous poem, which will now sound something like this:
First they came for Infowars, and I did not speak out--because I found them offensive.
Then they came for Geller and Spencer, and I did not speak out--because I found them obnoxious.
Then they came for Prager U, and I did not speak out--because I found them opinionated.
Then they came for a host of others, and I did not speak out--because I have my own life to live.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.