In recent weeks, it has become even more apparent that liberalism and freedom speech actually mean supporting the mainstream narrative and the flavor of the month, rather than being able to express one’s opinion freely and openly.
As long as it’s not hate speech, of course, but the lines of hate speech also appear to be completely blurred.
Let’s look at several examples that happened just in the past weeks that show freedom of speech and expressions are only terms if they support a specific group, which is currently in the mainstream and it is “fashionable” to support them, rather than what it really should be.
The entire story dates back to 2017, but to cut it short, this one will begin on May 30th, when Carlos Maza, the host of Vox’s Strikethrough decided he had had enough of right-wing comedian and YouTube commentator Steven Crowder.
So, I have pretty thick skin when it comes to online harassment, but something has been really bothering me.
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) May 31, 2019
According to him, Crowder, who has been uploading podcasts of him debunking Strikethrough’s videos and showing them for the fake information they provide, also included hate speech in every situation he could.
Crowder’s videos routinely contain egregious violations of YouTube’s policies against cyberbullying, including repeatedly referring to Maza as an “anchor baby, a lispy queer, [and] a Mexican,” among other derogatory terms, the Verge reported. It should also be mentioned that the Verge is owned by Vox.
In essence Maza, may be right, but he is an individual whose twitter handle is “@gaywonk,” very openly identifies as queer, and is being named as such.
Since I started working at Vox, Steven Crowder has been making video after video "debunking" Strikethrough. Every single video has included repeated, overt attacks on my sexual orientation and ethnicity. Here's a sample: pic.twitter.com/UReCcQ2Elj
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) May 31, 2019
According to Maza Crowder’s hateful commentary has resulted in “a wall of homophobic [and] racist abuse on Instagram and Twitter” from Crowder’s fans.
YouTube’s community guidelines state that content “deliberately posted in order to humiliate someone, make hurtful and negative personal comments/videos about another person, or incite others to harass or threaten individuals on or off YouTube” is prohibited.
Meanwhile, Crowder himself posted an answer to Maza’s allegations.
In it he disavows any form of doxxing or attacks by any of his viewers and said that his videos should be seen as the political comedy that they are.
But freedom of speech doesn’t apply when you’re in Maza’s shoes, after all – there is a person openly debunking your content and showing it for the false information that it is, and you’ve got a very powerful card to play.
Following the spectacle, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki went on record and said that after investigations of Crowder’s videos, it turned out that his content didn’t breach any of the video platform’s regulations and she specifically apologized to the LGBTQ community.
“I know that the decisions we made was very hurtful to the LGBTQ community and that wasn’t our intention at all,” Wojcicki said at the Code Conference in Scottsdale, AZ today. “That was not our intention, and we were really sorry about that, and I do want to explain why we made the decision we did.”
To partially appease the disgruntled community, Crowder’s video monetization was completely revoked, despite him apparently not doing anything against the tools of service.
Of course, Wojcicki was heavily scrutinized, as well as YouTube, for taking this “half-measure” and that Crowder’s videos should have been completely removed, regardless if they did break the actual regulations or not. It was important that the “hurt” party disagreed with him.
"Are you really sorry for anything that happened to the LGBTQ community? Or are you just sorry they were offended?"
— Recode (@Recode) June 10, 2019
“I’m really, personally very sorry,” Wojcicki said. “YouTube has always been a home of so many LGBTQ creators, and that’s why it was so emotional. Even though it was a hard decision, it was harder that it came from us — because it was such an important home. And even though we made this decision, we have so many people from the LGBTQ community. We’ve always wanted to openly support this community. As a company we really want to support this community.
“It’s just from a policy standpoint we need to be consistent — if we took down that content, there would be so much other content that we need to take down.”
Of course, the demonization wasn’t enough, since Maza said that the “guilty” used it as proof of being “discriminated” against, something he was all the more familiar with.
“Demonetizing doesn’t work,” Maza tweeted. “Abusers use it as proof they’re being “discriminated” against. Then they make millions off of selling merch, doing speaking gigs, and getting their followers to support them on Patreon. The ad revenue isn’t the problem. It’s the platform.”
Wojcicki said that it could be harassment, but the context is important, and that’s specifically what Maza was doing – taking Crowder’s content out of context. And still actions were undertaken against him, despite doing nothing wrong, at least according to regulations.
The other part of the story is focused on LiveAction.org, James O’Keefe and investigative journalist group Project Veritas.
“Live Action is an American anti-abortion movement non-profit organization founded in 2003 by then 15 year-old Lila Rose. Live Action is known for its undercover video sting operations on Planned Parenthood clinics.”
On June 13th, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter all took punitive measures against the conservative watchdog and other right-leaning groups featured in their videos.
The Twitter account for Project Veritas was restricted for supposedly violating somebody’s personal privacy by posting internal documents from the social media site Pinterest. These documents leaked by a whistleblower show that the tech company was actively, and falsely, labeling the pro-life group LiveAction as “pornography” and other falsehoods against conservatives in order to suppress content. Pinterest responded not by punishing the employees who mislabeled pro-lifers, but by banning LiveAction from their platform.
The crime was that LiveAction was spreading information about anti-vaccinations and conspiracies, which may be dubious, but are by no means illegal.
Pinterest released the following statement to the Daily Caller defending their actions:
“LiveAction.org was actioned for misinformation related to conspiracies and anti-vaccination advice, and not porn. Sometimes our internal tools have legacy names for the technology that enforces some of our policies. This technology was named years ago to combat porn, and has since expanded to a variety of content despite retaining its original internal name. We are updating our internal labeling to make this clear.”
As for Twitter, in order to get their account back online, Project Veritas deleted the tweet which apparently violated the company’s terms of service.
Shortly thereafter, James O’Keefe, announced that YouTube had now inexplicably deleted the entire video from its platform.
“Tech giants retaliating against an insider who leaked docs showing censorship of christian and pro-life material. They have REMOVED our investigative insider report. @YouTube now fighting bullet-proof journalism by deleting it,” O’Keefe tweeted.
Tech giants retaliating against insider who leaked docs showing censorship of christian and pro-life material. They have REMOVED our investigative insider report. @YouTube now fighting bullet-proof journalism by deleting it. Video still on our website: https://t.co/e45KJp6BsO pic.twitter.com/mwldXVwjVV
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) June 12, 2019
According to the Project Veritas account, YouTube cited a “privacy complaint” against the video. The non-profit categorically denied this was an invasion of privacy.
“If using people’s names and faces in an investigative report warrants a ‘privacy complaint,’ we fear the future of journalism in this country,” the non-profit said. “@YouTube needs to look up journalism in the dictionary,” they added for good measure.
The reason behind this crackdown was Pinterest engineer Eric Cochran. He told Fox News that he turned to James O’Keefe because he “saw wrongdoing” and wanted to shine on a light on conservative censorship in Silicon Valley.
“The normalization of censorship within Big Tech companies right now is downright un-American,” he added. “And I saw this as the fight for abortion. I saw a Big Tech company saying…behind closed doors that they believe that Live Action shouldn’t have a platform to speak, and the big thing is: I want them to have to…say this publicly instead of behind closed doors.”
“This is about abortion. You are seeing now with YouTube doing Pinterest’s bidding by removing the Project Veritas video. You are seeing that they are going to do whatever it takes. They are 100% in to protect the abortion lobby. And pro-lifers who exist within Big Tech companies — there’s a lot of us. They need to come to Project Verita,s and they need to expose what’s going on. They need to make these tech companies like I have explicitly say that ‘we are on the side of the abortion lobby,” Cochran said.
Eric Cochran was fired from his job as a result. Lila Rose, the founder of LiveAction organized a GoFundMe to support him.
Yesterday, Eric Cochran was fired for exposing @Pinterest’s secretive blocking of @LiveAction’s pro-life content. Let’s support this incredibly brave whistleblower who risked his career in order to fight for the protection of human life. https://t.co/PRAtF6EiSH
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) June 12, 2019
Agreeing with pro-life, anti-vaccinations and so on aside, freedom of speech and opinion should be applicable to all of these people, and they should be freely capable of expressing themselves.
After all, that is what it is supposed to mean, but rather liberalism means the leadership of liberalists and speaking and acting within the “approved narrative” rather than anything else.
In addition, to that ways of funding for conservatives are also being limited, as Patreon too appears to be censoring content creaters.
The case of the best-selling author Robert Spencer, of Jihad Watch, should be recalled who had an account on Patreon. Mastercard required Patreon to deplatform him because they disagreed with him morally.
Patreon banned Carl Benjamin for using the N-word on another person’s YouTube account, during a conversation with another host.
Patreon explained their ban and said, in part: “As a funding platform, we don’t host much content, but we help fund creations across the Internet. As a result, we review creations posted on other platforms that are funded through Patreon. Sargon is well known for his collaborations with other creators and so we apply our community guidelines to those collaborations, including this interview.”
In response to Patreon’s conduct, world famous psychologist Jordan Peterson and David Rubin, on New Year’s Eve announced that they were leaving Patreon to protest it against squelching free speech.
Recently, on June 13th, Peterson announced “ThinkSpot” which according to him is a “free speech” alternative to Patreon.
Per the Joe Rogan podcast this week, I'm backing a new platform called thinkspot, currently in Beta. Get on the waitlist here, exciting announcements coming very soon. https://t.co/3xQ78Iqc0h
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) June 10, 2019
Regardless what the future holds, the silencing of different opinions that do not adhere to the flavor of the month and do not repeat simply what is in the mainstream narrative is alarming, and it is an on-going and worsening tendency.