As a part of Google’s censorship program, the SPLC has gotten itself into an elite group of content police who determine what content gets to stay on the internet, and what content goes.
Google is also presently in the midst of several lawsuits having to do with its own internal practices which discriminate against white males and conservatives.
The Southern Policy Law Center is a far left thought police institution that seeks to define and ostracize “hate groups”, among which conservatives and sometimes normal cultural organizations commonly find themselves in the SPLC’s estimation. The Daily Caller reports:
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.
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.
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 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.
“Given the increasing tendency of powerful tech companies to flex their muscle against hate groups,” she wrote, “we may see more and more institutions unwittingly turned into critics or censors, not just of Nazi propaganda, but also of fairly mainstream ideas.”
Youtube and Google have been in a hot frenzy as of late to identify fake news and extremism, which, once identified, is promptly censored. These censorship efforts have been taking shots at conservative content as their target, because such “hateful content” violates their corporate guidelines. Zero Hedge observes:
YouTube has blamed “newer members” of it’s 10,000 person fleet of content moderators for a virtual bloodbath of video takedowns, strikes, and account restrictions taking place across a large cross-section of conservative channels.
The Google division announced the new moderators in December, tasked with spotting said fake news, along with misleading or extreme content in the wake of a raging debate over the effect of propaganda and inaccurate reporting after Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election loss.
Google essentially responded to the crackdown on conservatives with “our bad,” after news of the mass censorship began to spread.
“As we work to hire rapidly and ramp up our policy enforcement teams throughout 2018, newer members may misapply some of our policies resulting in mistaken removals,” wrote a YouTube spokesman in an email. “We’re continuing to enforce our existing policies regarding harmful and dangerous content, they have not changed. We’ll reinstate any videos that were removed in error.”
Some of the banned accounts include:
Those who were issued strikes, partial bans, or temporary suspensions include According to Joe, Blackstone Intelligence, BakedAlaska, InfoWars, Jerome Corsi, Military Arms Channel, and MrLTavern, among many others. –The Outline
As expected, Google/YouTube REJECTED both appeals on TWO STRIKES on my Channel jrlcorsi CENSORSHIP OF CONSERVATIVES CONTINUE – @realDonaldTrump @POTUS #QAnon #Qanon8chan #GreatAwakening @AjitPaiFCC @FCC #InternetBillOfRights TIME TO BREAK UP GOOGLE, prosecute ES, 12/21 DRT EO pic.twitter.com/zzpJPd9fCE
— Jerome Corsi (@jerome_corsi) February 28, 2018
Over the last week, The Alex Jones channel was issued two strikes – however the second one was mysteriously removed hours later, maybe due to on overzealous “newer member” who disagreed with Infowars’ politics.
And last August, politically incorrect University of Toronto professor Jordan B. Peterson found himself locked out of his YouTube account with no explanation before regaining access.
Considering that there probably aren’t a ton of red MAGA hats proudly displayed on top of cubicle cabinets in YouTube’s San Bruno, CA headquarters or wherever their moderators decide the fate of content producers, it stands to reason that their fleet of eager new morality police – perhaps some of them having emitted primal screams upon Hillary’s loss, simply went on a rampage against mean words and scary guns.
Meanwhile, the Daily Caller reveals that Google has also enlisted the left-wing nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to participate in its “trusted flaggers” program. The SPLC notoriously branded African American presidential candidate and neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson as an “extremist,” while gaining a reputation for finding creative ways to label conservatives as “hate groups” in general.
…YouTube says the trusted flaggers are equipped with digital tools which allow for the mass flagging of content for review by YouTube personnel. Moreover, the partner groups “act as guides to YouTube’s content monitors,” and engineers who develop algorithms to police more efficiently.
“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.
Another “trusted flagger” partner is the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Originally organized to combat anti-Semitism, the ADL – with it’s Soros-linked National director who last worked in the Obama admin, now spouts hyperbolic propaganda against conservatives, while failing to apply the same nebulous standards to the left. For example; their campaign to lump all Trump supporters in with white supremacists, while failing to mention far-left progressive organizations such as Antifa, Redneck Revolt, and only called listed the anti-Semitic black nationalist hate group New Black Panthers (founded in 1989) after they were called out on it last year.
When far left gets to determine what’s good and what’s bad, and what we can and can’t say, do, post, publish, or video, then the very idea of the internet as a bastion of free speech totally goes down the drain. The far left is flexing its anti speech muscles in shutting down the viewpoints of anyone who disagrees with their ideologies by teaming up with corporate giants to get the job done.
The expression of free thought and speech is being publicly sacrificed on the alter of combatting “hate” and “extremism”. It’s “extreme” or it’s “hate” based on the opinions of the same organizations that tell us it’s hateful to acknowledge that there are differences between the sexes, and who push identity politics.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.