YouTube has cancelled a video called ‘The Case Against The Lockdowns’ – featuring journalist Toby Young and Nobel-Prizewinning scientist Michael Levitt – because it fails to support the correct, World-Health-Organisation-approved narrative on Chinese coronavirus.
Young is founder of the Free Speech Union, which campaigns against censorship. Levitt – who doesn’t speak but can be seen nodding in approval at Young’s remarks – is a professor of structural biology at Stanford University, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2013. But none of this has cut any ice with YouTube which has taken down the video claiming it ‘violates’ its ‘community standards.’
This follows a directive issued in April by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who has promised to ban any content that goes against WHO recommendations.
Speaking on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Wojcicki said that the Google-owned video streaming platform would be “removing information that is problematic”.She told host Brian Stelter that this would include “anything that is medically unsubstantiated”.
“So people saying ‘take vitamin C; take turmeric, we’ll cure you’, those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy,” she said.
“Anything that would go against World Health Organisation recommendations would be a violation of our policy.”
Eminence and expertise are no defence to this ruling. Earlier this month, YouTube took down an interview with leading epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski, for similar reasons.
As the NewYork Post reported:
Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, former head of biostatistics, epidemiology and research design at Rockefeller University, says YouTube removed a video of him talking about the virus that had racked up more than 1.3 million views.
Wittkowski, 65, is a ferocious critic of the nation’s current steps to fight the coronavirus. He has derided social distancing, saying it only prolongs the virus’ existence, and has attacked the current lockdown as mostly unnecessary.
Wittkowski, who holds two doctorates in computer science and medical biometry, believes the coronavirus should be allowed to create “herd immunity,” and that short of a vaccine, the pandemic will only end after it has sufficiently spread through the population.
“With all respiratory diseases, the only thing that stops the disease is herd immunity. About 80% of the people need to have had contact with the virus, and the majority of them won’t even have recognized that they were infected,” he says in the now-deleted video.
This is part of a troubling onslaught against free speech by Silicon Valley. It’s not just YouTube which is censoring coronavirus sceptics but also Twitter, as I discovered myself today when I was given a 12 hour ban, for the crime of tweeting that I considered Covid-19 to be no worse than seasonal flu and that it was curable using a combination of the ‘Trump pill’ hydroxychloroquine and zinc. I was told I had violated community standards and was forced to delete the tweet.
In his pamphlet Areopagitica (1644), the poet John Milton made what may have seemed for most of the three and half centuries since an unanswerable case for free speech.
Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?
That is, when lies and the truth are tested in open debate, the truth will always win.
This story raises two questions. First, if YouTube, Twitter and the World Health Organisation do indeed have the truth on their side about the ‘correct’ response to the Chinese coronavirus, how come they’re so scared of the counterarguments?
Second, among the other things the World Health Organisation believes is that:
‘…Children aged 0-4 should be given information about “enjoyment and pleasure when touching one’s own body, early childhood masturbation” and “the right to explore gender identities”.’
So if Toby Young or I disagree on social media with the promotion of toddler masturbation, does that mean that Twitter and YouTube will cancel us for a second time?