Monday, June 19, 2017

Youtube restricts conservative political advertising

This would seem to be a watershed moment

In the Georgia special election, an advertisement from Defenders of Freedom is putting Democrat Jon Ossoff and his supporters on the defensive. After receiving many complaints and comments it seems YouTube put the ad on restriction.

Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff is on the defensive, with articles from CNN, Washington Post and other leftist blogs trying to back up his national security credentials while the Defenders ad shows the truth about his lack of judgement and experience.

Because of this supporters of Ossoff made so many complaints to youtube that the video is now restricted.  Facebook is still playing the video but complaints are piling up and Facebook has warned that the advertising may be cancelled, but offered no legitimate reason. 

This is outrageous! The left along with their friends at Youtube and Facebook are trying to silence conservatives just days before the special election.

Karen Handel is the conservative candidate. Handel is facing her own attacks from crazed leftists. It was revealed that she was mentioned by the Bernie Sanders supporting gunman who targeted Republican Congressmen.

The dead suspect had tweeted about Handel: "that Republican "B..@% wants people to work for slave wages."

Via email


Anonymous said...

Free speech means exactly that. If conveyers of free speech wish to censor valid free speech and misconstrue it as hate speech while supporting opposing speech then they themselves should be censured under the law. It is not their right to oppose free speech whilst not declaring their interests. If they are willing to censor speech they should declare their interests or be sanctioned and shut down regardless of how big they are.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:12,

Facebook is a private entity and can publish or not publish what it wants. There is no "freedom of speech" issue as it pertains to the First Amendment here.

Secondly, are you really advocating that a company must publish or print things with which they disagree? (Assuming that YouTube is actually doing what the group claims based on the reason the group claims.) The Supreme Court has already said that a newspaper cannot be forced to print a letter to the editor with which the company disagrees. How is this different? Compelled speech is not free speech.

Lastly, this whole post and email makes no sense. Is the group (which is shady to begin with) really saying that the video within the email and is available on their channel cannot be viewed?

This is a classic trick of groups to get people to see a video. "View and share this before YouTube takes it down!" their Facebook pages and emails will scream. Yet there is no take down and there is no threat of a take down.

This is not a case of "free speech." This appears to be more of a fraudulent claim by a group to get hits on a video and to make money.

Bird of Paradise said...

Demacrat's and especialy liberal demacrat's reject the U.S. Constitution so do many of those intellectial morons(Collage Professors)with their walnut sized brains

Anonymous said...


intellectial morons(Collage Professors)with their walnut sized brains

If this isn't the pot calling the kettle black.

If it weren't so said it would be hysterical. Nah. It's still hysterical.

Stan B said...

Anon 2:12 - You are correct about letters to the editor.

You are incorrect about political ads. Media Companies do NOT get a say in whether to publish a candidate's ads - whether newspaper, radio, or television - whether they agree or not. They may only reject ads that are factually incorrect, libelous, or slanderous.

Youtube and Facebook are skirting dangerously close to becoming Media Companies (they already are in everything but name) - and they collect PAID ADVERTISING REVENUE, so they will eventually be forced to play by the same rules as other Media Companies.

When they start censoring political advertising for reasons of ideological differences, they WILL be sued, and brought under the "Media Company" umbrella as it relates to PAID POLITICAL ADVERTISING.

Anonymous said...


The requirement of which you speak applies to candidate ads for Federal offices on over the air media. But this was is not a candidate's ad. This is an ad by a third party and no media company has to run a third party ad.

(And even then, the "must run" requirement is only for Federal offices, not local or state offices.)

The reason the FCC can regulate the ads and require them to be run is that the broadcasts are over the public airwaves and stations operate on specific government mandated frequencies. (Cable companies have not tried to challenge the regulation, but they most likely would win as they have won on other speech and content issues.)

However, YouTube and FaceBook are not over the air. They do not operate on an assigned frequency. There is no scenario that I can see where it plays out that they have to host anything on their sites. While I understand what you are saying about being a "media company," the fact of the matter is that neither company creates the majority of their content. If we are going to go by "revenues from advertising," then right leaning blogs that supports one candidate would have to run ads from the other. There is thankfully no requirement for that at this time.

I truly believe that this is a group that is outside the state of Georgia that is trying to get people riled up over some perceived slight when there is none.

In short, the ad is not from a candidate: YouTube doesn't have to run it.
The ad is not on a media company under the jurisdiction of the FCC. YouTube doesn't have to run it.

There is nothing here to see and the group that is creating this mess is trying to gin up support.

Stan B said...

Anon 2:34 AM :

I almost bought your FCC has no jurisdiction argument, until I remembered NET NEUTRALITY rules are through the FCC, so obviously the FCC has jurisdiction.

Your other arguments, regarding candidates and federal office is probably one of those things that would change once the appropriate test case came before the Supreme Court - as in, how come Federal Candidates qualify for protection and local candidates don't? The airwaves don't care about state borders (and neither does the internet)so to claim that this is not an "interstate issue" is bogus. Also, if I have to run ads on Cincinnati airwaves because Covington has no ABC affiliate broadcasting just across the river for a Kentucky office, it certainly does become an interstate issue.

Which brings us down to the third point - this is NOT the candidate's ad. That may be the most relevant point. If third party speech is not covered under the "fair and equal access" rules, then you're right - they can appropriately censor such groups as a private entity. So for the moment, you win the discussion on that point - Youtube can sensor 3rd party ads with impunity at this point.

At this point.

Use the Name, Luke said...

Both companies advertise themselves as unbiased platforms for others' free speech. By engaging in biased censorship, they violate their claimed purposes. Whether that's a violation of an implied contract, merely unethical, or some sort of "common carrier" problem, it is clear that they are actively interfering with people's ability to communicate with each other on platforms that have been created to facilitate such communications. As such, they are violating the spirit of free speech if not the letter of First Amendment law.

Canary in a coal mine said...

So what's the big deal? All politicians try to silence their opponent. All politicians try to make their opponent look bad. Trump and his Russian pals did a pretty good job of it. "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

Anonymous said...


The FCC with net neutrality is a whole different ball of wax. Courts have struck down net neutrality in whole or in part for a number of reasons including the over-reach by the FCC itself in their classification of net services. The Obama administration managed to get some rules on net neutrality passed in 2015 and they were upheld by a 3 person court in DC. With the new administration, the Court declined to hear the case en banc because the new gang in town had indicated they were going to change the rules. However, in denying the case, judges wrote dissenting opinions saying that the matter needed to be resolved no matter who is in the White House and who is on the FCC. The judges indicated they disagreed with the 3 judge panel but would wait. Ultimately, the case will be heard when new rules are in place.

However, you are still trying to make the case that the FCC has the right or ability to demand that a site carry something. That should scare most conservatives yet some support it. If the FCC can demand that a site publish something, then the EEOC can demand that people bake cakes and take photos.

As for the local vs federal elections, the Constitution establishes that Congress shall set the rules for Federal elections and the states set their own rules. The FCC should not try and take over something that clearly the Constitution defines as belonging to the states. As to your hypothetical issue on Covington and Kentucky, the answer is that no one is forcing you to run ads anywhere. There are other outlets for the message. IF you think the FCC should demand that some out of state station should be required to carry ads, you are essentially saying that the government has the right to take over a business. I reject that.

As I said, I don't think this ad was rejected or censored by YouTube at all. I think it was a way for this shady group to gin up controversy. YouTube's TOS says that people may not "create misleading descriptions, tags, titles, or thumbnails in order to increase views." Yet that is what the group is doing.

A pox on their house.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Use the Name, Luke,

it is clear that they are actively interfering with people's ability to communicate with each other on platforms that have been created to facilitate such communications.

And your point? The companies are still private, (not public) entities.

Do we really want people to be compelled to say, promote or publish something?

As such, they are violating the spirit of free speech if not the letter of First Amendment law.

The First Amendment deals with government restrictions, not private. There is no First Amendment violation here.