Social media trickery

YouTube just added an “information panel” to all my videos about climate change.

We at Stossel TV do weekly videos on many controversial topics, but apparently YouTube thinks climate change is special.

The information panel seems benign — just a link to a Wikipedia page about global warming — and YouTube puts it on all climate change videos.

But Wikipedia’s page was captured by activists. It’s biased in favor of desperate alarmism. You’d have to read carefully to know that the billions we’re spending now to fight climate change will make little difference.

The YouTube information panel doesn’t mention the Climategate scandal in which scientists were accused of skewing data, ignores climate models that over-predicted warming, etc.

It basically says the science of climate change is settled.

Only near the very end does the YouTube information panel briefly mention skepticism from conservative and libertarian think tanks. But the editors don’t let skeptics give reasons for their skepticism.

It’s very one-sided.

In addition, adding these information panels is a form of bias.

They don’t add Wikipedia links on Bernie Sanders’ ignorant videos on economics,

This is not a free speech issue because the First Amendment applies (and should apply) only to government censorship. YouTube is a private company (owned by Google) that can censor whatever it wants. We have several social media companies — but just one government.

I’m glad Twitter purges robots and Facebook bans posts that call for direct violence (that’s illegal, after all). But I worry when big media companies start policing content.

Recently, Facebook, YouTube, Apple Podcasts and others banned Alex Jones’ network, InfoWars, for “hate speech.”

Jones is an irresponsible jerk, but most sites didn’t ban him for any specific thing he did recently. As Robby Soave writes on Reason.com, “We don’t know which statements he made were deemed hateful, or why. We don’t know if Jones is being singled out, or if anyone who said the things he said would be banned.”

That’s a problem.

Twitter permanently banned conservative commentator Gavin McInnes, saying he was “violating our policy prohibiting violent extremist groups.”

McInnes founded a conservative group, and some of its members did attend racist rallies, something McInnes denounced. I cringe at things McInnes says. But he’s not a racist. He’s a defender of Western civilization.

Real extremists like Richard Spencer laughed about McInnes being banned on Twitter because McInnes often criticizes them.

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