Criticism or harassment? YouTube thought police starts purging ‘veiled & implied threats’ under vague new guidelines
Internet and media personalities have come out in force against YouTube’s crusade against “harassment,” worried that the extremely vague and ill-defined new rules will be used to selectively target users for their political views.
Announcing the move in a blog post on Wednesday, YouTube said it was revamping its harassment rules in response to criticism, taking aim at “implied threats,”“personal attacks” and “malicious insults” hurled on the platform, especially those based on “protected attributes” like race or gender.
Criticism: harassmentDifferent opinions: harassmentCold hard facts: harassmentEdgy humor: harassmentDemonetization: apparentYouTube?: Dying.Thanks Susan! Like I said. 1 step forward, 2 steps back.— Iraku Music 💙 (@Dubskillz101) December 11, 2019
Under the new rules, the company will also take a more aggressive approach to scrubbing comment sections, where it says it deleted some 16 million posts just last quarter. While YouTube maintains that it won’t go after comments that are merely “negative or critical,” detractors said the new guidelines are vague, providing neither clear “lines” nor “guidance.”
So, YouTube has put out its new guidelines. They don't set lines, and they don't guide. https://t.co/yb2lX6OMPo— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 11, 2019
“The entire reason YouTube became massive was YouTubers having beef and drama,”tweeted conservative writer Paul Joseph Watson, a frequent critic of the platform. “The line between criticism and ‘harassment’ is now so blurred, nobody knows where they stand.”Also on rt.com Not a free speech platform: Facebook declares it’s a ‘publisher’ & can censor whomever it wants, walking into legal trap
Some critics suggested double standards were at work, noting that late night talk shows which regularly appear on YouTube feature the same kind of “harassment” – read ‘harsh criticism’ – prohibited by the new rules, but are unlikely to face bans anytime soon.
Kimmel can make thousands of kids cry over Halloween candy but if a regular YouTuber did that, they'd have their video removed.— Danica DeCosto (@danicababy) December 11, 2019
oh #youtubeisoverparty is trending, GOOD There needs to be some scrutiny against destroying the lives of independent creators and denying them access while putting out the red carpet for establishment corporate interests!https://t.co/qiG8FqwzBK— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) December 11, 2019
Brandon Straka, founder of the #WalkAway campaign – which urges Democrats to leave their party – told Fox News the guidelines will empower YouTube to “control our political and cultural narratives online,” adding that such rules are “rarely upheld when conservative opinions are being targeted by leftist bullying.”
I agree with preventing harrassment definitely, but YouTube has always enforced these policies seemingly at random or not at all so why should I trust them to do it now? I'm skeptical. I guess we can only wait and see but I'm worried about the impact policies like this will have.— Slacker (@slackerteevee) December 11, 2019
With YouTube planning to apply the guidelines retroactively to all videos, even those uploaded before the rule change, the new policies will affect old content as well as new.
It's particularly egregious that YouTube is retroactively applying their new terms, so videos that were within the rules 6 months ago are now being deleted.Many people make a living off of YouTube and YouTube is screwing with their lives.#youtubeisoverparty— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) December 11, 2019
Perhaps with some irony, earlier this week YouTube called for “more clarity” on the Federal Trade Commission’s rules governing children’s privacy online, arguing the rules are vague and could impact content creators on the platform. Though the company put creators front and center in its appeal to the commission, it is likely more concerned with avoiding another massive fine after the FTC forced the company to cough up $170 million over violations of children’s privacy earlier this year, the largest fine in the commission’s history.Also on rt.com Google is censoring political content? *Gasp!* Who knew?
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