YouTube to end election 'interference' ... by interfering with the free press
Ever heard of destroying something in order to save it? Check out the latest genius move in the name of virtue-signaling from YouTube.
The world's largest video platform, with more than 2 billion users a month, will ban videos containing information that was obtained through hacking and could meddle with elections or censuses. That would include material like hacked campaign emails with details about a candidate. The update follows the announcement of a similar rule that Google, which owns YouTube, unveiled earlier this month banning ads that contain hacked information. Google will start enforcing that policy Sept. 1.
Which is preposterous. If some kind of news from some kind of hack is hot, all that matters is whether it's true or not, not whether it changes public perceptions. YouTube is focused on those 'perceptions' though and has changed its policy to make sure there is no change of perceptions. Status quo, anyone? They're very fond of the status quo. It's a stupid idea because we all know what this is about - the 2016 hacked John Podesta emails and all the interesting news about what Democrats say to each other away from the cameras and public relations spin operations. It was mostly inside baseball, and didn't affect the election, but the Democrats, bitter about Hillary Clinton's election loss, and still not admitting the problem was their bad candidate who refused to go to Wisconsin, continue to say it did.
This YouTube move accommodates their looney logic, which is a partisan political statement right there.
It's also a useless move because hackers are going to hack and if they've got something hot, people will get such news from some place else besides YouTube. QAnon is already an example of people getting news and information away from the traditional filters. YouTube will change nothing with this censorship policy.
What's perhaps most disgusting about this all the problems this kind of move presents for a free press.
1. First, reporters report stuff all the time that's hacked, provided it makes a Republican look bad. Is YouTube saying that only the New York Times (for we know they will never censor the New York Times) can used hacked information, nobody else can? Only the NYT can see the hacks and print only the ones that help Democrats? For YouTube and its favorite media, one hand washes the other.
2. Second, how many times have politicians claimed, in the wake of scandalous news, that their accounts have been hacked? Anthony Weiner pioneered this kind of political claim after news that he was sending photos of his privates to underage girls on Twitter got out and he claimed it was a hack. With this new YouTube policy, any pol who's the subject of any scandalous news now has a license to cover it all up, all for claiming it was a hac. Call this the Democrats' YouTube protection guarantee.
3. Third, there's a fine line between hacks and leaks, the bread and butter of journalists' output. Leaks are just as illegal as hacks, and lots of people have gone to jail for them, same as those caught illegally hacking have. Politicians have always complained about leaks, just as they have always complained about hacks. But among these hacks and leaks, many of which are reasonably jailable offenses, there's also the category of whistleblower, the person who calls out wrongdoing against a vast establishment doing something contrary to the public interest or its mission. The Democrats have managed to corrupt the term with their planned-out impeachment scam, but real whistleblowers exist, and YouTube is there to stomp them out.
The whole thing is badly thought out and clearly the work of some coordination with Democrats. For the professional hacker community, foreign or otherwise, that's a dinner triangle, suggesting that they've now got something to hide.
For Republicans, it's also a dinner triangle - the one that says these budding censors are now ready to be regulated like an edited platform, responsible for every last thing that goes out on their sites. It's time to get cracking on that, and getting loud about it if their Democratic partners persist. It's hard to understand why nothing so far has been done.
Here's the irony of it: It's profoundly anti-democratic. This great move undertaken to 'save' democracy from the machinations of hackers comes at the expense of why we have democracy at all, which is freedom. You don't save democracy by destroying a free press, pals.
Photo illustration by Monica Showalter with use of logo, via Wikipedia, public domain // Pixabay public domain image, edited