I shared this long post on Facebook. But I wanted to add it to our site as well because I think it’s the kind of this we can and should be aware of and work through our ideas and onions on. But more importantly that we SHOULD NOT get all worked up about, which is where I think we sometimes tend towards in the face of things that seem “outrageous” and a threat to our values and beliefs…
Here is the link-> To the article that I read. I encourage you to read it if you like, it will certainly help my own comments make more sense.
This is the post I wrote:
Interesting article, although it leans left and toward the end clearly positions itself on the left, given that it goes into the “tactics” of the right but doesn’t share anything in regard to tactics of the left, even though the article is literally about strange bedfellows from the right and left.
I enjoy a lot of the content that PragerU creates I think it’s mostly solid critical thinking and analysis from the conservative perspective. I don’t always agree of course, and at times I find their points a bit too slanted to the right and not holistic enough in thought with regard to the subject matter being address; but this is to be expected I suppose since conservatism is their stated purpose and intention as an organization.
When I first heard about YouTube’s “censorship” of PragerU content I was somewhat alarmed and concerned because I strongly believe in free speech and the right of an individual, group or organization of people to speak their mind and voice their opinions.
The “tricky” part here is that PragerU along with their perhaps odd bedfellow from the LGBTQ community are not exactly being “censored”; it’s more like moderation. To be clear it hasn’t removed these videos, it have labeled them as “restricted” because of the content that is in them. What that means is that people the choose to “filter out” restricted content, won’t see these videos come up in searches on the platform. Now I wouldn’t be any more “ok” with that than censorship if we were talking about a public forum and/or free speech on the internet… BUT we’re not… exactly. YouTube is certainly public and MASSIVE in terms of being used by the public to gain information, but it’s actually a corporate company, which is kind of the point this article is trying to make. And as a business and the owner of the platform that hosts, supports and publishes all of the content being loaded onto it, it has the right to moderate or remove the content of it’s users. This has been true in world of the marketplace for about as long as there has been a marketplace.
HOWEVER…and this gets sticky too. At what point does a company (ie: Facebook, YouTube, Google etc.) become a de facto public forum that should be required to observe the rights of free speech? I think it could easily be argued they are already there.
But does that mean it’s then a free for all, anyone can publish anything through their platform and should never be censored or filtered or moderated? Aside from the anarchists I don’t think any of us really want that. Why?
For the same reason we still don’t allow profanity on network television. We want our children in this society to grow up being introduced to the extreme actions, words and ideas of this world, slowly, we may even have strong beliefs about things one way or another and teach our kids those ideas, but we still want these protections for our kids so they don’t get exposed to some other possible extremes that we either disagree with or agree with but go “too far” for young minds to be exposed to.
A better question may be, should these companies be allowed to dominate the market and BE de facto information and entertainment centers? This brings me to some old history lessons I learned about our countries history of the late 1800s and breaking of monopolies through anti-trust laws. I’m not saying this is the solution, I don’t really know. But I think as long as it stands as it is. YouTube will keep moderating mostly to keep it’s advertisers happy and organizations like PragerU will have the freedom and right to go after them for censorship. What an interesting society we’ve made it these here United States. It’s not perfect, but it’s free…sorta. 😉
For the record, in my opinion, YouTube is being absurd regarding some of the videos they have chosen to moderate/label “restricted” due to their content.
But who cares what I think… 😛
What I didn’t add to my post (mainly because it was already looong and I also didn’t want to “take it there” in that post) but was thinking about and wanted to share here is this. Praise God, this is all in His divine ordering and control! For those of you who believe in and trust in God and believe in Jesus Christ and confess that we are created beings, we can live with and rejoice in the uncertainty of how these things all play out. Ultimately we know that God is in control and it’s a mere sliver of eternity.
For the time being, we have an incredible gift that we are allowed to live and walk in the freedom of publicly choosing and declaring our faith and if we are called to speak out, we can speak out. And do it with gratitude that you can speak with very limited personal risk. Because there ARE many in this world who can’t do that without great personal risk…but still do.
It’s simple really, we can and should remain grateful for the gift of Christ and His love and grace being sufficient for us in all things; not getting all bent out of shape over things we have little control over… pray instead, it will be far more effective.
Praise the Lord in all things, and have a blessed and joyful day! 😉