In September, video journalist Matt Orfalea made two videos for TK News that highlighted election denial in the past two presidential elections.
The first video, Memory Holed: “The Election Was Hacked,” was a montage of Democrat politicians and commentators saying that the 2016 election was illegitimate, hacked, or rigged.
The second video, Memory Holed, Part II: The “Rigged” Election, compares the statements made by Republicans after Donald Trump lost and those made by Democrats after he won in 2016.
For instance, when Trump was asked if he’d concede, he said “I have to see.” Orfalea showed Hillary Clinton saying, “No, I would not,” when asked the same question after she lost.
Matt Taibi at TK News highlighted the statements that were made the video:
“This video after all is packed with clips of people like Karine Jean-Pierre saying the 2016 election was ‘stolen,’ Joe Biden saying ‘I absolutely agree’ Trump is an ‘illegitimate president,’ Kamala Harris saying ‘you’re absolutely right’ Trump didn’t really win in 2016, and even Jimmy Carter saying ‘Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016.’ Old pal Keith Olbermann proclaimed the public wouldn’t stand for this ‘bloodless coup’ called voting, Chris Hayes said Trump ‘cheated,’ and a conga line of officials from Adam Schiff to Elizabeth Warren insisted foreigners had ‘hacked our elections.’”
Initially, YouTube demonetized both videos, then reversed the decision. However, on Friday, Orfalea announced that the second video had been removed. YouTube also gave his channel a strike which is a more serious YouTube punishment as getting strikes eventually results in a channel being permanently removed.
YouTube said that the second video “contains claims that past US presidential elections were rigged or stolen, and our election integrity policy prohibits content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in US presidential elections.”
The platforms added that “countervailing views, which we refer to as EDSA context, on those remarks are not provided in the video, audio, title, or description.”
YouTube can allow publishing of content that violates its rule provided the context is Educational, Documentary, Scientific, or Artistic (EDSA).
Matt Taibbi at TK News wrote of the censorship: “…these videos are factual. There are no statements taken out of context. No editing games were played to make it appear someone is saying something he or she did not. This was the point of the exercise, to show what was actually said, when, and by whom.”
And if the second video of the Republican election results denial violated its election integrity policy, the first video showing Democrats’ election denial should, in theory, be taken down too.
Taibbi added that, “The press has to be allowed to make these points. If it isn’t, Silicon Valley is encouraging one form of unethical behavior while condemning another. Moreover, it’s punishing the media for factually accurate reporting. There is no explicit or implicit message in Orfalea’s videos that either the 2020 or 2016 vote was compromised. His videos are the opposite of election denial. He’s clearly making the point that no matter who does it, denying election results is irresponsible.”
Taibbi concludes: “If YouTube punishes him for that message, it just sends a message that all of these bad actors are right, and the system really is rigged. We’ve asked politely for a reversal of their decision. YouTube must do the right thing here.”
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