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Thread: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    So now youtube are only allowing one point of view to be aired and suppressing perfectly valid points of view, there are a lot of scientists out there that also question the validity of the jabs, yet youtube decides that no-one should hear from those.

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    Did you even look at what they said they are doing, or what their existing guidelines were, and how they're changing? The way you characterise it is simply and blatantly NOT what they said.

    As they pointed out, there is increasing medical misinformation that is egregiously harmful. An example would be that drinking turpentine cures viruses. Or that injecting bleach is a Colid cure. Though I suppose if someone kills the patient with stupid suggestions, at least that patient no longer has a Covid problem.

    Part of what they stated is :-

    Specifically, content that falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects, claims that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease, or contains misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines will be removed. This would include content that falsely says that approved vaccines cause autism, cancer or infertility, or that substances in vaccines can track those who receive them. Our policies not only cover specific routine immunizations like for measles or Hepatitis B, but also apply to general statements about vaccines.
    Some people will jump on that and say "Aha. so, removing anything that doesn't fit in with the 'official' line then?".

    Again, no. Read their statement.

    There are important exceptions to our new guidelines. Given the importance of public discussion and debate to the scientific process, we will continue to allow content about vaccine policies, new vaccine trials, and historical vaccine successes or failures on YouTube. Personal testimonials relating to vaccines will also be allowed, so long as the video doesn't violate other Community Guidelines, or the channel doesn't show a pattern of promoting vaccine hesitancy.
    Look at the guidelines for creators, where they explicily state they may ....

    allow content that violates the misinformation policies noted on this page if that content includes additional context in the video, audio, title, or description. This is not a free pass to promote misinformation. Additional context may include countervailing views from local health authorities or medical experts. We may also make exceptions if the purpose of the content is to condemn, dispute, or satirize misinformation that violates our policies. We may also make exceptions for content showing an open public forum, like a protest or public hearing, provided the content does not aim to promote misinformation that violates our policies.


    YouTube also believes people should be able to share their own experiences, including personal experiences with vaccinations. This means we may make exceptions for content in which creators describe firsthand experiences from themselves or their family. At the same time, we recognize there is a difference between sharing personal experiences and promoting misinformation about vaccines. To address this balance, we will still remove content or channels if they include other policy violations or demonstrate a pattern of promoting vaccine misinformation.
    I've given some bold emphasis for stress, but read the whole quote, and better yet, read their actual statement, and preferably, the actual guidelines issued to content creators.

    The point they are making is :-

    - there is medical misinformation,
    - some of it is egregiously harmful if followed, and therefore
    - they have to draw a line somewhere.

    This is about exactly where they draw the line, so that they do the minimum to suppress the ability to express views and opinions, while at the same time, not permitting outright misinformation that, if followed, could be severely injurious to health.

    Finally no, they aren't only allowing one point of view, and aren't even suppressing questioning of the validity of the jabs, especially by those with some actual medical experise, or are relating personal experience.
    Last edited by Saracen999; 01-10-2021 at 06:04 PM. Reason: Tpyo
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    There are a few other things that need to be taken in to account here.

    1. The UK doesn't have Freedom of Speech, it has Freedom of Expression. Freedom of Speech is a US thing, but they are similar.

    2. Freedom of Expression means that the Government can't stop you saying things. However, this does not mean that you are free from consequences. If you promote misinformation, racism, homophobia, etc then you are responsible for the consequences of your actions.

    3. Youtube is a company, not part the Government. It is not bound by either FoS or FoE, it has its own rules which you agree to in order to use their service. If you break their rules, they have the right to shut you down.

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    Quote Originally Posted by AethersPhil View Post
    There are a few other things that need to be taken in to account here.

    1. The UK doesn't have Freedom of Speech, it has Freedom of Expression. Freedom of Speech is a US thing, but they are similar.

    2. Freedom of Expression means that the Government can't stop you saying things. However, this does not mean that you are free from consequences. If you promote misinformation, racism, homophobia, etc then you are responsible for the consequences of your actions.

    3. Youtube is a company, not part the Government. It is not bound by either FoS or FoE, it has its own rules which you agree to in order to use their service. If you break their rules, they have the right to shut you down.
    I entirely agree on point 3, but I rather feel points 1 and 2 are a distinction without a differece. No, the UK doesn't have a constitutionally protected FoS, largely becaue we don't have a formal constitution. We do have a system of statutes, common law and long-standing traditions.

    The government can't stop you saying something, in the sense that a policeman will grab you and gag you, but there are things that if you say them, can have legal consequences both in a criminal and civil context. If you falsely, and knowingly shout "fire" in a crowded situation like a cinema or theatre and someone gets hurt or killed in the entirely predictable stampede to get out, criminal charges can result. When airport security ask you if you have anything in your luggage you shouldn't have, saying "Yes, a bomb" is a riously stupid thing to do and if you don't end up arrested, answering questions and missing your flight, you're lucky as hell. It's not a good moment to be a smartass. And I saw round monumental idiot actually do that. Pillock.

    Also, making certain defamatory remarks to (in public) or about touchy individuals with the resources to sue you can result in very large legal trouble .... and bills.

    All of these are examples of limitations on general principles of FoE or FoS, neither of which are without limit, either in the UK or even the US.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    The origin of the phrase 'Shouting fire in a crowded theatre' is itself pretty interesting when it comes to free speech. It comes from a US Supreme Court decision in Schrenk v. USA.

    'The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. ... The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree.'.

    But more interesting is the circumstances in which Schrenk was prosecuted for his speech. He was prosecuted under the Espionage Act for handing out flyers to draft-aged men urging them to resist the draft. Not out of a desire to help the enemy, but because he, along with thousands of others at the time, opposed US entry in to WW1, and believed the draft constituted involuntary servitude in violation of the 13th Amendment.

    Now from a modern perspective, speaking out against a war would seem like exactly the kind of speech which should be protected, and modern US Jurisprudence has refined that 'clear and present danger' idea to 'imminent lawless action'. Which leaves the theatre a little less protected than expected.

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    There's a different set of legal issues in the UK, a large part of which are the famous Cunningham and Caldwell cases, establishing (up to House of Lords, IIRC) where the line is drawn between negligence and recklessness (as in reckless disregard) and between recklessness and actual intent .... such as, was a fire in a hotel set with intent to endanger life, of with reckless disregard to whether it did or not, when any reasonable person should have bee able to foresee the dangers.

    That said, it was a hell of a long time ago when i did these in studies, more or less as Caldwell was happening. And, it's something of a diversion, sp I'll leave it at that before going too far down that rabbithole.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    I entirely agree on point 3, but I rather feel points 1 and 2 are a distinction without a differece. No, the UK doesn't have a constitutionally protected FoS, largely becaue we don't have a formal constitution. We do have a system of statutes, common law and long-standing traditions.

    The government can't stop you saying something, in the sense that a policeman will grab you and gag you, but there are things that if you say them, can have legal consequences both in a criminal and civil context. If you falsely, and knowingly shout "fire" in a crowded situation like a cinema or theatre and someone gets hurt or killed in the entirely predictable stampede to get out, criminal charges can result. When airport security ask you if you have anything in your luggage you shouldn't have, saying "Yes, a bomb" is a riously stupid thing to do and if you don't end up arrested, answering questions and missing your flight, you're lucky as hell. It's not a good moment to be a smartass. And I saw round monumental idiot actually do that. Pillock.

    Also, making certain defamatory remarks to (in public) or about touchy individuals with the resources to sue you can result in very large legal trouble .... and bills.

    All of these are examples of limitations on general principles of FoE or FoS, neither of which are without limit, either in the UK or even the US.
    Interesting thread and an interesting take on point 3 (That YT is a company and can do what the hell it likes to enshrine in a ToS agreement).

    FoE and FoS are implementations of what has been internationally agreed are human rights. YT can not lawyer those rights away as they are an implicit condition of every contract. What I find interesting is the way Western society particularly has, within the last 40 years, become conditioned to accept businesses being held to lower moral standards than they expect of a singular human being. It reminds me of a conversation with a colleague I used to work with who moved into IT from selling mobile phones. He seemed to believe defrauding people was fine as long as he was getting paid to do it. The classic line, "Oh I wouldn't do it at home."

    The Government can not control what is said. The Government do and should control what may be disseminated. YT are currently defending a privileged position whereby they are protected from being held accountable by regulation.

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    Quote Originally Posted by matts-uk View Post
    Interesting thread and an interesting take on point 3 (That YT is a company and can do what the hell it likes to enshrine in a ToS agreement).
    Yeah. I ought to clarify what I meant.

    As a company, YT can do what it likes provided it doesn't break laws in the jurisdiction in which it "lives". But, just like HEXUS, they are a company prividing a service and are entitled (within the law) to determine what is and is not allowed on that service. In order to use that service, users have to agree to abide by that ... hence the I Agree/Accept button.

    Constitutionally protected free speech essentially prevents government from restricting the right to freedom of speech but even then, that protection isn't absolute. The line is usually drawn where causing harm or damage to others is concerned. But it doesn't protect people from the consequences of their "speech" on services provided by companies. It does protect society from companies claiming freedom of speech to ignore other laws. So if YT (or HEXUS) said "It's our service, so you can make threats, use hate speech, defame people, incite violence" etc., no they can't. But they can say "No swearing". You can still swear, but you aren't protected by freedom of speech from the consequences, like being edited or banned, if you do it on that service. If that's what people want to do, they're free to do it elsewhere. The ability to use the service at all is subject to complying with terms of service, and freedom of speech doesn't protect from the consequences of not doing what you agreed to. If people don't like the T&C's, don't agree to them, or withdraw and close the account, and freely speak somewhere else. There is no legally protected right to use such services at all, let alone break T&Cs that were agreed to, to get permission in the first place.

    It's similar to what you can do on private property. If someone comes into my home and starts insulting me, they will be firmly invited to leave. At that point, they are trespassing and the property owners rights at that point vary by jurisdiction, but can include "reasonable force" to remove them if they won't go, to arrest and criminal charges. If a farmer owns a field, can I fly my drone from it? With permission, usually yes, (though there are other reasons why maybe not). If a company owns the land a shopping centre or block of flats sits on, can I go there and take photos? With permission (and maybe paying a fee) yes. Otherwise, again, trespass.

    So companies, be it HEXUS, YT, MS, whoever, can't "do what the hell they like" by claiming free speech where it breaks laws but they can require their otherwise legal T&Cs to be met, or can withdraw the right to uses their services at all.

    In the same way, shopkeepers or restauranteurs are able to decline to serve anyone provided they don't break other laws (like discrimination laws) by doing so. As a shop owner, I can't refuse you because you are, or aren't, of a specific colour, race, nationality, gender, religion, etc except where the law makes an exception to that, which while very limited, do exist. But I can if you're drunk as a skunk, shouting obscenity and/or threatening staff or other customers.

    And so on.

    Freedom of speech is certainly not absolute, even in the US.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    This is just more authoritarianism and the insane thing is that your average drooling idiot supports this! They think that MSNBC is true news and that everything else is evil misinformation and they cheer for censorship, even though we know from thousands of years of history that censorship leads to dictatorship and bondage and slavery!

    If anything there is too much pro vaccine misinformation based on PURE LIES, but it serves the corporate interest, it serves the power elites interest so Google's owners that also own Pfizer and also own Moderna and also own Comcast and also own Disney and also own Bank of America, etc... don't want their corporate own interests being challenged and so they've ordered youtube to censor on their behalf!

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    Well, that's not going to end well.

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    Quote Originally Posted by SlickR View Post
    This is just more authoritarianism and the insane thing is that your average drooling idiot supports this! They think that MSNBC is true news and that everything else is evil misinformation and they cheer for censorship, even though we know from thousands of years of history that censorship leads to dictatorship and bondage and slavery!

    If anything there is too much pro vaccine misinformation based on PURE LIES, but it serves the corporate interest, it serves the power elites interest so Google's owners that also own Pfizer and also own Moderna and also own Comcast and also own Disney and also own Bank of America, etc... don't want their corporate own interests being challenged and so they've ordered youtube to censor on their behalf!
    Careful, your tin foil hat might break your neck...

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    Ive had my 2 jabs and no side effect that I can speak of..........no chip installed but i do have a lan port on my left arm ?

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubarb View Post
    Ive had my 2 jabs and no side effect that I can speak of..........no chip installed but i do have a lan port on my left arm ?
    I had the jab quite early, mighy explain why mine is a serial port.

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    Re: YouTube cracks down on Covid anti-vax misinformation

    The Euro attitude on this may differ, but my Merica-centric view says letting megacorps decide what is and isn't appropriate is never a good idea.

    Maybe a better idea would be just not believe everything you see on the internet.

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