Youtube joins Twitter in censoring speech that does not adhere to official agency guidelines (guidelines which change weekly) even when such commentary comes from bona fide “experts”:
Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, former head of biostatistics, epidemiology and research design at Rockefeller University, says YouTube removed a video of him talking about the virus that had racked up more than 1.3 million views.
Wittkowski, 65, is a ferocious critic of the nation’s current steps to fight the coronavirus. He has derided social distancing, saying it only prolongs the virus’ existence, and has attacked the current lockdown as mostly unnecessary.
Wittkowski, who holds two doctorates in computer science and medical biometry, believes the coronavirus should be allowed to create “herd immunity,” and that short of a vaccine, the pandemic will only end after it has sufficiently spread through the population.
Twitter previously announced that it will censor speech that is a “denial of expert guidance”:
I subscribe to a Youtube channel run by medical doctors. They have run their channel for years as an educational resource for med school students and the public. Recently they said Youtube had removed their videos that mentioned Covid-19, where they had reviewed peer reviewed literature studies. This is “expert” level material. But apparently reviewing studies that may have not fully adhered to CDC and WHO guidelines is a thought crime. These doctors announced they have set up their own web site and video server to host all of their videos. There is nothing controversial about their channel’s content.
The problem about censorship is who gets to decide who is an “Expert”? In each of these examples, people who would normally be considered “Expert” by any definition are treated as non-experts by social media executives.
A challenge for social media speech policies is that many “experts” contradict themselves, including Dr. Fauci’s clear statement in March that all public use of face masks for in bound or outbound protection is useless only to revers himself 2 weeks later. Same thing happened with Canadian public health authorities who said on April 3rd that cloth face masks provide no protection to anyone but then on April 6th, joined the CDC in recommending home made and improvised face masks, of unapproved designs and uncertified materials, made by strangers of unknown skills.
Youtube, Twitter and Facebook hide by a “safe harbor” law that allows any speech to flourish on their platforms without being held responsible for such speech (such as defamation)- while simultaneously acting as editors of a publication. They cannot have it both ways but for now, they get to pretend they are open platforms while they are, in fact, edited publications responsible for all aspects of content on their platforms.
Because consistency in defining “experts” or something.