When Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s new ad criticizing Democrat rival Hillary Clinton for her secretive health problems and her national security issues came out, he probably expected it to go viral on YouTube.
Never did he believe that YouTube would actively hide it and mark it as unsuitable content.
According to The Gateway Pundit, though, that’s exactly what the video giant — owned by Google — decided to do.
The video began by listing the problems facing America on the security front — Russia, North Korea, the Islamic State group.
There is some video of Islamic State thugs with hostages, but nothing too graphic.
It then switched to the disturbing videos we’ve all seen about Clinton’s health — her collapse at the 9/11 memorial, her coughing fits, etc.
“Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the fortitude, strength or stamina to lead in our world,” the video’s narrator intoned.
That’s nothing too objectionable, but YouTube felt slightly differently.
First, they made it unlisted, which means that if you don’t have the URL to the video, you can’t find it by searching for it.
Then, if that wasn’t enough, they flagged it as being graphic and put it as “restricted,” which means it was flagged as objectionable content. This means that it can’t be watched in many public environments, such as schools and libraries, where computers are locked in restricted mode.
But you can watch it here:
YouTube describes restricted content thusly: “Restricted Mode hides videos that may contain inappropriate content flagged by users and other signals. No filter is 100% accurate, but it should help you avoid most inappropriate content.”
Perhaps most notably, Hillary’s “Women Will Be the Reason” ad, which featured some of the graphic quotes Trump used during the infamous “Access Hollywood” video, underwent neither of these obloquies. That video was far more graphic than anything in Trump’s ad, so one can tell this isn’t about objectionable content.
Thankfully, Drudge Report managed to subvert this censorship by posting the direct URL to the video on its website, probably giving it a lot more attention online than it would have ordinarily gotten had YouTube not tried to censor it in the first place. However, that isn’t really the point.
No matter what you think about Donald Trump, what YouTube did was an abhorrent breech of principles for a platform that markets itself as being a paragon of free speech.
YouTube is a private corporation, but it acts, theoretically, as an open forum where anyone can post videos, and as long as they’re not offensive, they can be accessed. Given how graphic some of the videos on YouTube are, it’s shocking that someone at YouTube thought that this was a good use of his censorial powers.
I think we would appreciate it if YouTube acted, in a presidential election year, with a bit of objectivity. They may not like Donald Trump, but he is the Republican nominee for president of the United States of America.
For a putatively “tolerant” organization, this is a massive act of intolerance. Please like and share on Facebook and Twitter if you agree.