Monday, March 19, 2018

REPORT: YouTube Secretly Using Far-Left SPLC to Police Videos

YouTube unveils their new paid subscription service at the YouTube Space LA in Playa Del Rey, Los Angeles, California, United States October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Do you remember the IRS scandal of 2013? This story broke when officials at the Internal Revenue Service were caught red-handed abusing their power and attacking conservative-based organizations at the national level. These acts were a disgrace in the eyes of many Americans and represented one of the numerous signs of corruption and clandestine efforts by government organizations to undermine American standards of ethical conduct. And as we have come to know, these heinous acts of the IRS were not at all isolated incidents.

To some, the social media platform we know as YouTube may simply be considered a convenient and fun entertainment-based website. There are users who frequent the site merely for these purposes. However, for those who use YouTube for posting alternative news and opinions, the platform has revealed itself to be something far different.

By now, most of us are well-familiarized with the new face and reputation of YouTube. This face appears to be governed by some personal, unacknowledged agenda to silence all content producers who disagree with corporate media narratives. These acts of censorship by YouTube personnel bear little to no resemblance to the fair and upright standards which ethical platforms uphold. Yet little or no legal action to suit and regulate this questionable company seems to be taking place.
The fact seems to be that the recent censorship of YouTube is merely an annoying symptom of a far larger problem. That is the mass compromise and corruption of a large portion of the U.S. government. This corruption is reported to have been ongoing for decades now, and yet no authority or established news organization has offered much resistance to it. However, it seemed that the moment the people began to call out this corruption in various ways, they were systematically silenced.

Before this point, companies such as YouTube were not suspected by many to be part of the problem of corruption. There was some suspicion. However, these feelings were largely isolated among those who personally observed and experienced censorship firsthand. Now, it seems difficult to find a free-thinker who has not become aware of the underhanded operations of YouTube and Google personnel.

After much public outrage, the people received a seemingly hollow apology from YouTube stating that the censorship was a mistake, that it was the fault of their software, and not the personnel. The public response was not as pleasant as YouTube may have expected.

If we think back to the IRS scandal of 2013, we may remember a similar attempt at apology and apparent face-saving by IRS officials. That statement was rejected in a way similar to that of YouTube.

During that time, the IRS claimed that the targeting of conservative groups was not motivated by political bias, but was a result of mere chance and temporary error of a select few employees. However, the facts showed that these questionable actions had been taking place for years prior—revealing the chances that all of these acts were purely accidental were slim to none.

Today, we see another government organization—the Southern Poverty Law Center—that appears to be doing away with ethical practices altogether and targeting those considered to have conservative views. But just what is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and what purpose does this center serve according to written standards?

Here is an excerpt from the SPLC website's section, About Us.

The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.
Civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. founded the SPLC in 1971 to ensure that the promise of the civil rights movement became a reality for all. Since then, we’ve won numerous landmark legal victories on behalf of the exploited, the powerless and the forgotten.

Our lawsuits have toppled institutional racism and stamped out remnants of Jim Crow segregation; destroyed some of the nation’s most violent white supremacist groups; and protected the civil rights of children, women, the disabled, immigrants and migrant workers, the LGBT community, prisoners, and many others who faced discrimination, abuse or exploitation.

Our Intelligence Project is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups and other domestic extremists.

Our Teaching Tolerance program produces and distributes – free of charge – anti-bias documentary films, books, lesson plans and other materials that reduce prejudice and promote educational equity in our nation’s schools.

We also built and maintain the Civil Rights Memorial and its interpretive center, the Civil Rights Memorial Center, in Montgomery, Alabama, the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement.

We’re based in Montgomery and have offices in Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, and Jackson, Miss.

As things appear, this organization was created to fight for the civil rights of those who were commonly ignored by society and government, and to give minorities in America a voice. So why is it that we see this organization apparently infringing upon the civil rights of YouTubers?

The major issue lies in the slanted definition of "hate-speech" which the SPLC has reportedly used to define its policies. What has been equally concerning is that this organization is known to be a left-wing group with a history of biased standards of policy. According to sources, the SPLC has used these policies not simply to stand up for civil rights, but to silence those who may disagree with their political views. But let's define the situation a bit further.

According to sources, the SPLC does not openly or clearly communicate specific definitions of hate-speech, hate groups, or extremist groups. This vagueness has left the door open for this organization to target individuals and groups based not upon defined policies, but upon the SPLC's word alone. This has led to much debate and discord within the groups singled out by the SPLC in the past.

If the SPLC's distorted definitions are responsible for the recent censorship on YouTube, this would explain quite a bit.

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According to reports, virtually all of the YouTube channels which questioned the mainstream narrative of the Parkland, FL shooting appeared to be deliberately targeted and deleted. To be clear, similar channels that did not report on the shooting were left alone for the most part, but those channels which expressed a skeptical opinion toward the MSM were eliminated.

As the situation appears, either YouTube personnel or algorithms seem to have labeled all opposition to the MSM narrative of Parkland as "hate-speech" and acted against the channels involved. If this is true, it is not difficult to see the absurdity of these acts.

It is completely possible to disagree with a viewpoint without hating those who hold it. The fact that American debates still take place (despite their inability to invoke much change) tells us that mere disagreement does not necessarily equate to hate-speech.

Television networks are not reprimanded for airing debates. Corporations have no problem advertising during these debates. These observations clearly reveal that the U.S. government and corporate world (even with all of their issues) have no problem distinguishing between free expression and actual hate-speech. This raises the question of why it was so difficult for YouTube to make such a simple distinction in the year 2018 when technology and people are completely capable of doing so.

Such a shortcoming seems to reveal that this YouTube-centered problem was not accidental. It was completely avoidable and, to my knowledge, it has not happened with any other online platform to such a degree; that is without the act being deliberate.

In this case, we see a concerning similarity between YouTube's questionable policies and the biased history of the SPLC.

Additionally, we find out that not only was the SPLC silencing YouTube users for questionable reasons, but that personnel at the SPLC were deliberately keeping these acts hidden from public view. Once again, we see similar underhanded behavior as we did from the IRS in 2013. If SPLC and YouTube personnel did not believe there was a problem with what they were doing, why did they hide their actions?

It appears that in this case, there are too many concerning similarities between the (allegedly) corrupt IRS, the SPLC, and YouTube.

This is not to present Conservatism as any superior viewpoint. (It should also be noted that most of the YouTubers affected by the recent censorship do not label themselves as conservative.) I make this point to remind the reader that civil rights belong to everyone. Unless these rights are upheld for everyone, they cannot rightly be called civil rights.

Similar posts - IRS Caught Targeting of Conservative Groups - Past Disclosures and Present-Day Significance

Just because a person or group disagrees with a certain statement does not mean that their viewpoint is hateful, offensive, or worthless. To add, just because a viewpoint disagrees with an organization that superficially claims to value civil rights does not mean that those viewpoints violate civil rights.

As we have seen in both the past and the present, government organizations can easily be used as weapons to commit crimes against those with whom they disagree. This reveals our collective responsibility to ensure upright conduct and respect for civil rights for all people, and not simply those who agree with MSM narratives. According to past experiences, all government organizations require independent oversight, and as we have seen, the SPLC is no exception.

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Source: Daily Caller

Published: February 27, 2018

By: Peter Hasson

  • YouTube is getting help from the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center in its effort to identify extremist content.
  • YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers” police the platform for so-called hate speech to terror-related content.
  • The SPLC has labeled pedestrian conservative groups as hate groups in the past.

Original Video

The Southern Poverty Law Center is assisting YouTube in policing content on their platform, The Daily Caller has learned.

The left-wing nonprofit — which has more recently come under fire for labeling legitimate conservative organizations as “hate groups” — is one of the more than 100 nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and government agencies in YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers” program, a source with knowledge of the arrangement told TheDC.

The SPLC and other program members help police YouTube for extremist content, ranging from so-called hate speech to terrorist recruiting videos.

All of the groups in the program have confidentiality agreements, a spokesperson for Google, YouTube’s parent company, previously told TheDC. A handful of YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers,” including the Anti-Defamation League and No Hate Speech — a European organization focused on combatting intolerance — have gone public with their participation in the program. The vast majority of the groups in the program have remained hidden behind their confidentiality agreements.

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The SPLC’s close involvement in policing content on YouTube is likely to cause consternation among conservatives who worry that they may not be treated fairly. The left-wing group has consistently labeled pedestrian conservative organizations as “hate groups” and has been directly tied to violence against conservatives in the past. Floyd Lee Corkins, who opened fire at the Family Research Center in 2012, said he chose the FRC for his act of violence because the SPLC listed them as a “hate group.”

It’s unclear when the SPLC joined YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers” program. The program goes back to 2012 but exploded in size in recent years amid a Google push to increase regulation of the content on its platforms, which followed pressure from advertisers. Fifty of the 113 program members joined in 2017 as YouTube stepped up its content policing, YouTube public policy director Juniper Downs told a Senate committee in January.

Downs said the third-party groups work closely with YouTube’s employees to crack down on extremist content in two ways, both of which a Google spokesperson previously confirmed to TheDC.

First, the flaggers are equipped with digital tools allowing them to mass flag content for review by YouTube personnel. Second, the partner groups act as guides to YouTube’s content monitors and engineers designing the algorithms policing the video platform but may lack the expertise needed to tackle a given subject.

“We work with over 100 organizations as part of our Trusted Flagger program and we value the expertise these organizations bring to flagging content for review. All trusted flaggers attend a YouTube training to learn about our policies and enforcement processes. Videos flagged by trusted flaggers are reviewed by YouTube content moderators according to YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Content flagged by trusted flaggers is not automatically removed or subject to any differential policies than content flagged from other users,” said a YouTube spokesperson, who would not specifically comment on the SPLC’s participation in the program.

The SPLC did not return multiple voicemails and emails seeking comment.

The overwhelming majority of the content policing on Google and YouTube is carried out by algorithms. The algorithms make for an easy rebuttal against charges of political bias: it’s not us, it’s the algorithm. But actual people with actual biases write, test and monitor the algorithms.

As noted above, Google’s anonymous outside partners (such as the SPLC) work closely with the internal experts designing the algorithms. This close collaboration has upsides, Google’s representatives have said, such as in combatting terrorist propaganda on the platform.

But it also provides little transparency, forcing users to take Google’s word that they’re being treated fairly.

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The SPLC has faced criticism for its cavalier definitions of “hate group” and “extremist.” The organization stoked controversy in 2015 by labeling Dr. Ben Carson, now the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), an anti-gay “extremist.” After a backlash, the SPLC reversed its ruling and apologized to Carson.

The organization faced a similarly intense backlash in 2016 for labeling Maajid Nawaz, a respected counter-extremism activist, an “anti-Muslim extremist.” (RELATED: SPLC Says Army Bases Are Confederate Monuments That Need To Come Down)

The Washington Examiner’s Emily Jashinsky noted last year that “the SPLC’s claim to objectivity is nothing less than fraudulent, a reality that informed observers of its practices from both the Left and Right accept.”

“The routine of debunking their supposedly objective classifications occurs like clockwork each time a major outlet makes the mistake of turning to them when reporting on the many conservative thinkers and nonprofits the group absurdly designates as hateful.”

The SPLC has faced tough criticisms not just from conservatives but from the mainstream press as well.

“At a time when the line between ‘hate group’ and mainstream politics is getting thinner and the need for productive civil discourse is growing more serious, fanning liberal fears, while a great opportunity for the SPLC, might be a problem for the nation,” Politico Magazine’s Ben Schreckinger wrote last year.

Bloomberg columnist Megan McArdle similarly noted last year that the SPLC commonly lumps in principled conservatives alongside actual racists and extremists and warned of the possibility that tech companies could rely on the SPLC’s misleading definitions.

Read more at:

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