COMMENTARY: YouTube tirade in censoring journalists has gone far enough

YouTube censorship

(Heartland Newsfeed) — Assuming your head hasn’t been in the sand, you would know that YouTube has either demonetized, censored or banned certain political commentators and journalists this week.

One of these impacted journalists just happens to be a fellow Libertarian — Ford Fischer, editor-in-chief of Washington, D.C.-based News2Share, who has covered a wide variety of events including the national March to Impeach this past weekend. His work has been featured on the news outlets of NBC, ABC, CNN and FOX among others, among other mediums. He has also filmed documentaries such as 2018’s Transhuman.

So, why is a liberty-oriented journalist all of a sudden being blacklisted by YouTube, moreorless by Google parent Alphabet? Honestly, your guess is about as good as mine — I haven’t a clue.

Just like I do with Heartland Newsfeed, Ford goes where the news is.

While some of the backlash has been directed more along the lines of conservative commentators like Steven Crowder, Fischer and some independent journalists were somehow dragged into this because of what they had covered. Kind of an unfair “lumping together” by YouTube, if you ask me.

When the UK’s Independent stated Wednesday that YouTube was planning on purging thousands of accounts — as if they’re some sort of thought police — who promoted things such as conspiracy theories (e.g. Alex Jones, Pete Santilli, Doug Hagmann, etc.), flat earth theories, hate speech, white supremacy and anything the platform considered “harmful” — it arose a red flag to those who support independent, unbiased journalism, in which Fischer was wrongfully lumped among them.

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Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro mentioned Fischer on his program Thursday who cited his credentials as an independent journalist and has not engaged in white supremacy.

Fischer has received additional attention from BoingBoing, Reason Magazine/reason.com, ABC News and Fortune Magazine among other outlets regarding YouTube’s action against him.

Fischer was also interviewed by fellow content creator Carey Wedler on Thursday regarding YouTube’s crackdown.

Latest social media crackdown on thousands of accounts sweeps up innocent journalist

Censorship is never acceptable. Period. While YouTube may be one of the largest video platforms in existence and their corporate parent Alphabet may have an army of lawyers, but there comes a point when censorship by a publicly-traded corporation becomes incredibly excessive. I consider YouTube’s recent actions as incredibly excessive.

Most of this avalanche of outrage came from the left, which led to libertarian/Libertarian and conservative content creators to suddenly get blacklisted or removed from YouTube. It is not only censorship, but a blatant excessive violation of the First Amendment.

This is just getting incredibly ridiculous. Enough is enough when it comes to censoring content creators, especially freelance journalists.

Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network and a contributing writer for My Sports Vote, Ambush Sports and Midwest Sports Network. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dogs Sparky and Buster.

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