In case you were wondering, yes, YouTube is still enforcing its almost unprecedented censorship around what’s allowed to be said regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
But this censorship seems to be elastic in how and to whom it is applied. While many videos got summarily removed, even those giving voice to respectable scientists and doctors, others, like an interview with British journalist Peter Hitchens, have “merely” been hidden.
The interview was published on the TRIGGERnometry YouTube channel, run by Konstantin Kisin and Francis Foster who bill it as “free speech and fact-based.”
On Monday, they announced on Twitter that the interview with Hitchens – who criticized the UK government’s policy of lockdowns during the epidemic – was being censored on YouTube.
“Technically they haven’t deleted it but the video cannot be found by search,” the they said, explaining that the only way to see the video on YouTube now is to click on a direct link.
Lastly, this pair of podcasters and channel owners reveal that they think Big Tech “cannot be allowed” to be the arbiter of valid opinion.
However, as one of the channel’s subscribers noted, “they can and do.”
Some Twitter users chiming in said that the stream of the interview recorded the previous day had been removed from their subscriptions, and confirmed the video could only be reached directly on the channel.
Another commenter said that all of TRIGGERnometry’s videos showed up in their home and subscriptions page – except the interview with Hitchens. And the same result was echoed in a series of other comments that all confirmed they received no notification of the video being published.
That’s certainly one way to censor content, and it wouldn’t be the first time YouTube has done it, either.
However, when Hitchens tagged YouTube to ask why his interview with TRIGGERnometry about the coronavirus controversy “does not show up at all” – he received what looks like an automated response complete with a link to the Google Search Help page.
Actually @teamyoutube, while I am grateful for the reply, I am not 'reaching out'. I am wondering why another older Youtube interview of me by @TriggerPod comes up prominently but this new one https://t.co/vfJLz1TP3J does not. Can you explain? https://t.co/d70qHBSGDb
— Peter Hitchens (@ClarkeMicah) June 1, 2020