Thursday, 28 May 2020

Comments Critical of Chinese Communist Party Are Being Removed from YouTube, Company Calls It 'Error'

Conservatives have long complained about Big Tech’s censorship, but now Google-owned YouTube is deleting user comments that are critical of the Chinese Communist Party.
The news was reported by PC Mag the same day Twitter used its new fact-check directive to hit posts from President Donald Trump about the potential for fraud in widespread mail-in voting, which is being touted by Democrats and activist reporters.
As a number of Democratic governors across the country have used their executive powers to impose restrictions on citizens, Big Tech is hard at work controlling their activities online.
That apparently includes YouTube’s removal of some critical comments about the authoritarian regime that unleashed the coronavirus pandemic on the world.
PC Mag reported that two Chinese phrases, when posted in the YouTube comments section, disappear within roughly 30 seconds.
The phrases are “共匪” (Gong-Fei) and “五毛” (Wu-Mao),” the outlet reported.
“The first term means Communist bandit while the second phrase refers to internet users who covertly work to manipulate public opinion on behalf of China’s government. Try to type either term into YouTube’s comment sections and the post will mysteriously disappear about 30 seconds later,” PC Mag’s Michael Kan noted.
Virtual reality entrepreneur Palmer Luckey, who founded Oculus VR before selling it to Facebook in 2014, pointed out the issue on Twitter.
“Who at Google decided to censor American comments on American videos hosted in America by an American platform that is already banned in China?” he tweeted Monday.
Indeed, why would YouTube — or its parent, Google — go to such lengths to ban comments critical of a government that has banned it?
According to Google, those comments are being deleted because of a software issue.
“Upon review by our teams, we have confirmed this was an error in our enforcement systems and we are working to fix it as quickly as possible,” a YouTube representative said in a statement emailed to The Western Journal.
The company said the issue “was not the result of any change in its moderation policy,” according to The Verge, and had gone on unnoticed for six months.
YouTube said it has been relying more on automation during the coronavirus pandemic.
The answer wasn’t good enough for Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, who was already peeved by Twitter’s move against the president Tuesday.
Hawley, a Republican, shared Luckey’s tweet and demanded an answer from Google.
“I’d like to know the answer to this @Google,” Sen. Hawley wrote.
Indeed, by Wednesday morning, Hawley had written a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai demanding that answer.
Hawley asked Pichai to “explain whether Google or its partners had any conversations with members, representatives, or proxies of the Chinese Communist Party about these terms.”
The senator also appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning and discussed the issue by tying it in with Twitter’s actions against conservatives, including the president.
“Here is the bottom line on this: Big Tech gets a huge handout from the federal government. They get this special immunity, this special immunity from suits and from liability that’s worth billions of dollars to them every year,” Hawley said.
“Why are they getting subsidized by federal taxpayers to censor conservatives, to censor people critical of China?” he asked. “They need to explain. We need some answers.”
Hawley later took to Twitter to call for an end to social media’s protection from civil liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which is outdated and was designed with the intent to “promote the continued development of the Internet and other interactive computer services and other interactive media” way back in 1996.
It’s safe to say we have reached a point where “interactive media” and “interactive computer services,” such as Google and Twitter, have grown far beyond what could have been foreseen 24 years ago.

Big Tech has not only matured beyond the language of Section 230, it has grown into a cancer that is silencing or muffling Americans, including a sitting president, and is stooging for a communist human rights abuser that has outlawed its use by Chinese citizens.
Social media platforms have become a virtual town square, where people gather to discuss, debate and share ideas.
The ability of some Americans to participate in them should not be held hostage to foreign interests and the whims of a handful of far-left tech billionaires in Silicon Valley.
The time to hold Big Tech accountable for its influence on American life has long passed.

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