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YouTube censors our video showing “Palestinian child exploitation for the cameras” (Update)

YouTube censors our video showing “Palestinian child exploitation for the cameras” (Update)

A reminder that we now live at the mercy of sometimes mindless, sometimes ideologically-hostile, internet oligopolies

Ever since  YouTube without any warning took down Legal Insurrection’s YouTube account in January 2017, I’ve been well aware of the power liberal-leaning high tech oligopolies have over our ability to communicate with each other. The account was restored after a fairly massive news coverage of the takedown.

That wake up call has come into further focus in the past year, after repeated instances of non-liberal voices being stifled and shut down in a variety of social media locations.

In August 2017, I wrote, Gathering Storms And Threats to Liberty:

Attempts to induce corporations to silence conservatives are nothing new. We have seen years of pressure tactics from groups such as Media Matter to shut down voices such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity by pressuring and harassing advertisers. Campaigns are currently underway to force advertisers away from websites such as Breitbart and Gateway Pundit.

As discussed in many posts, this tactic can be effective when highly organized because major corporations are scared to death of bad publicity in general, but particularly bad publicity that could find it accused of supporting racism or other -isms. So the easy decision is to drop the advertising, rather than face protesters outside headquarters and in social media.

That tactic now has gone to a completely different level with attempts to intimidate internet hosting companies and companies that provide internet infrastructure to cut off access to the internet. So far, the effort has been focused on the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. People might not care that The Daily Stormer is taken down, but the history of leftist tactics show that the target universe will expand dramatically and it will not be long before efforts are directed, as they are now for advertisers, at mainstream conservative and right-of-center websites….

Being cut off from domain registrars and other aspects of the internet backbone is something we expect from totalitarian governments. Now that power is in the control of almost-uniformly left-wing corporate managers.

“Hate” lists prepared by the Southern Poverty Law Center and ADL are being weaponized by these oligopolies to target non-liberal speech, and to smear right-of-center speech as “hate speech.” In my 9th Anniversary post in October 2017 I noted Legal Insurrection is 9 years old, and filled with dread:

Imagine living in a repressive country in which the government blocked access to and suppressed internet content. You don’t need to move. It’s coming here but from private industry. This is, in many ways, more dangerous than government suppression of free speech because at least in the U.S. the government is subject to the First Amendment, and can be voted out of office.

Brandon Morse at Redstate has a recent post summing up some recent instances, The Censorship of Conservatives on the Internet Is Approaching Critical Levels of Bad. Robert Tracinski of The Federalist has a good Twitter thread on how Twitter and Facebook have recentralized control in the hands of people who are hostile to conservatives:

It’s not as if I had forgotten about the perilous times we live in relying on the internet oligolopies. But just in case, YouTube decided to remind me by taking down a video from the Legal Insurrection account and issuing a Community Guidelines strike. Two more such strikes in the next 3 months, and we could lose the account again.

This is part of the notice I received by email:

Hi Legal Insurrection,

As you may know, our Community Guidelines describe which content we allow – and don’t allow – on YouTube. Your video “Palestinian Child Exploitation for the Cameras” was flagged for review. Upon review, we’ve determined that it violates our guidelines. We’ve removed it from YouTube and assigned a Community Guidelines strike, or temporary penalty, to your account….

This is the first strike applied to your account. We understand that users seldom intend to violate our policies. That’s why strikes don’t last forever – this strike will expire in three months. However, it’s important to remember that additional strikes could prevent you from posting content to YouTube or even lead to your account being terminated.

The notice provided links to “acknowledge” the notice and to appeal. I’ve done so.

The video in question was used in a post about how Palestinian videographers and their supporters set up confrontations between children and soldiers in order create videos that misleadingly make it seem that the confrontation was spontaneous and initiated by the Israelis. The Tamimi Clan of Nabi Saleh is notorious for such tactics.

In this video, a Palestinian father pushes his very young child towards Israeli police and yells at them to shoot the child. The Israelis don’t do any such thing, and in fact, treat the child gently, giving him a “high five” and sending him back to his father, who also was shouting for the child to throw rocks.

I covered the video in this post, VIDEO: Disgusting Palestinian child exploitation for the cameras:

I have documented how some Palestinians, such as Bassem Tamimi, have created an industry of exploiting children for the cameras in a very dangerous way.

They have the children confront soldiers with the cameras rolling, hoping for a reaction and viral video or image. The video and images are crucial in the propaganda war on Israel.

Here is another example. A young child, maybe 3 years old, was photographed heroically confronting Israeli border police. It had all the hallmarks of a viral shot, tweeted by anti-Israel Twitter account Abbs Winston and retweeted by “Hamas Lawyer” Stanley Cohen and over 150 others:

But the image of the child is not what it seems.

I then went through the video frames to show what actually happened.

The video was shared widely on social media, including in this tweet by the former IDF spokesperson:

As part of my post I uploaded the video to YouTube and embedded it in the post so people could see for themselves.

The video on YouTube garnered over 900,000 views and over 1000 comments before YouTube disabled it:

The basis for the “strike” and takedown was that the video violated the policy on “violent or graphic content”:

Yet there is NO VIOLENCE in the video. NONE. To the contrary, the video shows the Israelis not being violent despite the provocation. There also are no graphic images of violence. Clearly, there was no violation of the policy.

The video was reported by someone trying to take it down. But YouTube supposedly reviews such reports. Either the reviewer was a mindless robot, or the reviewer was ideologically motivated. But there is no way a serious review could have resulted in the video being taken down under the policy on violent and graphic content, since there WAS NO VIOLENCE.

I tweeted out the problem to YouTube on Twitter, and actually received a response telling me to appeal:

You will know when the video is restored when the shadow image in this embed disappears and the original video is playable:

Hopefully YouTube will restore the video, though it has not done so as of this writing. Whether its a short-term takedown or long term strike, its a reminder that we now live at the mercy of sometimes mindless, sometimes ideologically-hostile internet oligopolies.

Update 3-18-2018: The video has been restored.


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OleDirtyBarrister | March 17, 2018 at 5:38 pm

Conservative-minded and libertarian-minded billionaires, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and even smaller capital contributors need to take urgent action to provide alternate internet platforms to youtube, farcebook, twitter, etc.

    4th armored div in reply to OleDirtyBarrister. | March 17, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    we absolutely need to have ‘subscription service’ backed by Koch and other libertarian/conservative platforms –
    also let advertisers know that if they permit the LibRulers to continue then we WILL boycott their products.
    while we normally are against such activities, we must have a way to strike back at these platforms and the advertisers that do not equally support conservative/libertarian POV.

    The Battle for Hearts and Minds is at Youtube. The fight is in plain sight before us. This is our Gettysburg. I am not overstating one little bit.

    There will never be a right wing youtube. People with the money to gamble on ventures like that know a bad bet when they see it. No one wants a right-wing youtube. That’s why the fight is about equal access to this specific medium provider.

      4th armored div in reply to Tiki. | March 17, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      >No one wants a right-wing youtube.<

      why not ?
      do non LibRulers have a right or interest ?

      FOX news has the highest audience for the news/commentary genre.

      Conservative/Libertarian Radio also has a larger audience and we cannot get our POV on the internet social media ?

      OleDirtyBarrister in reply to Tiki. | March 18, 2018 at 2:07 pm

      I did not state a need for a “right wing” version of youtube, the others did, and I disagree with them. I simply advocate for competition and alternatives so that platforms can exist with even-handed policies and administration. The competition would like put pressure on youtube and other California based leftist properties to be more centrist and unbiased.

This is all a symptom of the fact that liberals CANNOT debate conservative ideas and win.

Initially Liberals tried to organize boycotts and demand advertisers shun conservatives. That failed spectacularly because time after time after time companies that did so LOST significant amounts of money and companies that maintained their support either broke even or gained money.

So that tactic having failed liberals are now simply removing conservative ideas from the internet.

Congress seriously needs to get involved. When you police political ideas on your platform, you are now a political organization and will be regulated as such.

    ChrisMallory in reply to Olinser. | March 17, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    They are not “liberals” and you are not “conservatives”. You are just two opposing groups of progressives fighting over the ruins of the nation you have destroyed.

    “When you police political ideas on your platform, you are now a political organization and will be regulated as such.”

    Thankfully the First Amendment prevents this. But as a progressive you would not understand that.

    Shane in reply to Olinser. | March 17, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Government intervention is the last thing that will do any sort of good. Please carefully consider the ramifications of what you are asking for.

      SDN in reply to Shane. | March 17, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      Well, if we can’t use the government to mediate disputes, what good is it? And why should we have it?

    no congress does NOT need to involve itself in a private companies crap.
    this would backfire BADLY upon you (if you think about it) the next time an opposing political party takes control.
    it is somewhat bothersome you think congress should place free speech rulings onto a private entity.

      SDN in reply to dmacleo. | March 17, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      And thus dmacleo defends Fascism, where a veneer of private ownership is used to disguise effective control by a government faction.

        bless your heart, you were able to use big words in a sophomoric manner to try to insult someone.
        sorry I missed it earlier, cleaning up (plowing) after a sh*t ton of agw fell on me here I overlooked it.
        hope you feel special that I actually bothered to check this, and I am not eveven gonna bother to toss scary big word around.
        I detest how google/uscrewed/twitter/facebook/etc are used.
        but anyone screaming for gov intervention in their policies (no matter how skewed they are) is the actual fascists. anyone advocating an autocratic or dictatorial control of a private businesses (again, no matter how stupid they are politically) w/o recognizing how badly this could boomerang upon them is someone I will no longer even bother to read or respond to. And that because that person needs a sign telling the world how f**king stoopid they really are.
        think strategically and not tactically you dam*ed idiot.

what happened to all that “net neutrality” the progressives like to talk about.

    Massinsanity in reply to ronk. | March 18, 2018 at 11:24 am

    And that is the big joke about net neutrality. There is little incentive for those companies that have spent 10s of billions of dollars building broadband pipes to censor information carried on those pipes based on ideology. They may be incentivized to expert control based on bandwidth consumed which is why companies like Netflix pay more to have priority access.

    The scary form of censorship is that promoted by those that control content and that content control is increasingly in the hands of two companies – Google and Facebook – each of which is happy to censor conservative content aided and abetted by biased organizations such as the SPLC and (unfortunately) the ADL.

its sort of a pain but for 60# a month can run a dedicated (unmanaged) server (with raid system) and (free) clipbucket script that converts uploaded vids into streamable mp4 (multiple resolutions) and utube cannot do a damned thing about it.
with single server won’t have the super bandwidth of utube nor can you monetize off it using google ads like uscrewed but….for stuff sjw people love to hate on its better.

Professor Jacobson, you’re a lawyer. Go judge shopping. Launch a class action lawsuit. There is no high road in the legal profession. There are only winners and losers. Legal might makes right. Please, dont dare tell me otherwise – or damn my lying eyes! The Hawaiian judge and the ninth circuit courts are not exceptions to the rule. They are the rule we bloody live by now. So drop the quaint but outmoded notion of fair fights and gentlemanly behavior. The Jacobin-progressives are winning – have almost won.

    4th armored div in reply to Tiki. | March 17, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    it’s the bottom of the 9th – 2 outs and we need special intervention to go into extra innings!

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to Tiki. | March 18, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    What is the theory on which one would sue?

    Google owns youtube, it is a private entity (not a govt. entity), and it has the power and discretion to make the rules and amend them. If you want to play in their privately owned sandbox, you have to play by their rules.

Give us some means to contact them when these things occur to register our dissatisfaction about these gross insults to freedom, liberty & truth…

It’s a mistake to rely on such obviously biased and even fascistic institutions. The ubiquity of Facebook, Google, and YouTube was the result of a concerted PR campaign to integrate them into all aspects of daily internet life. We are now paying the price for our lack of vigilance.

    Massinsanity in reply to Matt_SE. | March 18, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Google started out as the best search platform which is why people left all the others and flocked to it. Now that it is dominant it operates in a manner completely contrary to the corporate mantra of “do no evil”.

    It has evolved into a cheating (Google related products and services getting favorable treatment in search), biased organization that could be on the path to break up.

    Creating a conservative Google or YouTube is of no value… that would result in two echo chambers even if you could generate the traffic to make the site work (which is highly doubtful… massive scale is needed to make any ad based business work and achieving that scale today is practically impossible).

    What is needs is a platform open to all ideas regardless of ideology. Will it result in some ugly content from both sides being available… yes but that is what we have to accept in a free and open society.

Here’s all the violence YouTube needed in order to call a strike against LI:

“In this video, a Palestinian father *pushes* his very young child towards Israeli police and *yells* at them to shoot the child…his father, who also was *shouting* for the child to throw rocks.”

YouTube is pathetic.

Why in the name of St. Gibson is it so hard for conservatives to Google for “streaming video hosting services”? There are literally dozens of other video hosting services out there.

Demanding that YouTube, a private entity that is not a monopoly or an oligopoly in any sense that matters, show your videos when they don’t want to is just the technologically-illiterate conservative’s equivalent to the Fairness Doctrine.

Go get a vimeo dot com or rumble dot com account. When you’re actually paying for a service then you can complain about breach of contract.

    Massinsanity in reply to daniel_ream. | March 18, 2018 at 11:38 am

    In 2016 YouTube had a market share of 79% based on visits to video based content sites. Second was Netflix which host its own or licensed content only at 8%. Vimeo came in at 0.8%.

    Please enlighten us with your definition of a monopoly.

Let the free market roll:

YouTube Alternatives – 10 Best Video Sharing Sites Like YouTube:

I have heard that YouTube, Twitter, and others platforms that are openly discriminating against conservatives are in a financially weak position. Why not encourage all conservatives to exit them and move to a better platform such as Patreon or BitChute? Many independents would follow as well which would end up bankrupting Twitter and others.
Hasn’t anyone else found it utterly astounding that a struggling company would alienate a large portion of their customer base on purpose thus pushing them further towards insolvency?

    Massinsanity in reply to Cleetus. | March 18, 2018 at 11:44 am

    YouTube is owned by Google which is the second most valuable company on the planet with a market cap north of $700,000,000,000. Help me understand how it is financially weak?

I cant speak for the staff at Legal Insurrection, but I *think* I have a philosophical disagreement with them over tactics.

They seem to believe that this Republic can still be saved by staying inside the Rule of Law, by remaining civil and using legal tactics.

So I’ll be watching this closely, as the professor follows YouTube’s rules and proscribed method of appeal to reverse these trumped-up charges against him.

I predict they will run him around in circles, waste his time and energy, until he gives up in frustration.

Am I a prophet? Doubtful. However, with YouTube it’s easy to see that they will NEVER change unless there is financial incentive for ALPHABET. Reward or pain: my guess is that YouTube can suffer a lot of pain before being motivated to change their policies. YouTube is probably the largest broadcaster of video on the planet with a dedicated audience far exceeding American MSM and reaching into billions of computers and smart phones. Who is capable of even touching them?

The written law? Please, put down the blunt and face reality. If YouTube is demonized in America they will just move their operation elsewhere. America can’t even stop cocaine from flowing onto it’s shores in metric ton quantities, how is she going to stop a censorship monster run by the biggest surveillance corporation on the planet?

YouTube, like Facebook and other social networks are tools of the globalist/statist powers, training it’s creators and users how to think and respond. Yield or be silenced… Old Adolf would send the non-conformists to concentration camps, Uncle Joe would starve them in the Gulag. Modern tech just gags and intellectually cripples those who will not conform and be chattel; effective and cost efficient.