Posted: August 8, 2019
Category: NATIONAL HEADLINES
PragerU releases a five-minute video every week. As of this writing, 56 of its 320 videos are on YouTube’s restricted list. They include videos such as “Israel’s Legal Founding” (by Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz); “Why America Invaded Iraq” (by Churchill biographer Andrew Roberts); “Why Don’t Feminists Fight for Muslim Women?” (by the Somali-American women’s-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali); “Are the Police Racist?” (by the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald); and “Why Is Modern Art So Bad?” (by artist Robert Florczak).
We have asked Google why our videos—which contain neither violence nor pornography nor any kind of hatred—are restricted. We know that human beings, not “algorithms,” have reviewed these videos. Yet we have never received an explanation.
But Google and the others have violated this agreement. They want to operate under a double standard: censoring material that has no indecent content—that is, acting like publishers—while retaining the immunity of nonpublishers. When YouTube puts PragerU’s content on the restricted list, when Twitter bans conservative actor James Woods, they are no longer open forums.
Richard Hanania, research fellow at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, undertook a study of Twitter political bias and concluded: “My results make it difficult to take claims of political neutrality seriously. Of 22 prominent, politically active individuals who are known to have been suspended since 2005 and who expressed a preference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, 21 supported Donald Trump.”
The unwillingness of some conservatives to confront some of the most dangerous attacks on free speech in American history is disturbing. Do they think Google, Facebook and Twitter—the conduits of a vast proportion of the free world’s public information—don’t act on their loathing of conservatives?
If the four major U.S. airlines announced they would not allow passengers carrying The Wall Street Journal to travel to some American cities, would any conservatives or libertarians defend the airlines’ right, as private companies, to do so?