YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan said in a recent blog post that the platform has “removed over 1M videos” with information on COVID-19 since February 2020. He justified censorship in favor of “accountability” and “balance” on the platform.
Mohan downplayed the censorship when he said that YouTube removed allegedly “dangerous coronavirus information.” He claimed that YouTube attempts to “strike a sensible balance between freedom of speech and freedom of reach” and implied that censorship on an “open platform” offers “greater accountability to connect people with quality information.”
The YouTube executive also cited that the platform removes “nearly 10 million videos a quarter.” He admitted, however, that removing too much content can be dangerous. “An overly aggressive approach towards removals would also have a chilling effect on free speech,” said Mohan. “Removals are a blunt instrument, and if used too widely, can send a message that controversial ideas are unacceptable.” [Emphasis added.]
He ignored the fact that YouTube seemingly sends that exact message every time it censors users and health care professionals.
Mohan all but conceded that people define misinformation in different ways but stopped short of admitting that YouTube subjectively defines misinformation and acceptable conversation for its users. “One person’s misinfo is often another person’s deeply held belief, including perspectives that are provocative, potentially offensive, or even in some cases, include information that may not pass a fact checker’s scrutiny,” he said. [Emphasis added.]
The YouTube executive acknowledged that “in order to identify clear bad content, you need a clear set of facts.” He boasted that YouTube relies on the “expert consensus” of the Chinese propaganda-pushing World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has constantly flip-flopped on its COVID-19 recommendations.
Mohan also admitted that the science of COVID-19 is still developing, despite the so-called “expert consensus” the platform defaults to. But YouTube’s COVID-19 medical misinformation policy prohibits even doctors from discussing their medical opinion on unpopular COVID-19 treatments like hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin.
Mohan reiterated in his blog some remarks he made in an interview with The Verge’s Decoder podcast. He explained on the podcast that YouTube not only removes videos but also reduces the visibility of videos that do not technically break its rules. Mohan confirmed that YouTube makes decisions to remove or reduce the visibility of videos even when “the lines are very blurry and not clear.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact YouTube at 650-253-0000 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “misinformation” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.