The following article, YouTube Suspends Sitting Senator, Firing Up New Free Speech Fracas, was first published on Flag And Cross.
We have arrived at a pivotal moment in our history. Here is where things are going to get very, very tricky for the First Amendment, all thanks to the new corporate bottlenecks that we have in the realm of free speech.
Nowadays, you can have your truth heard by the entire world at large, at once. You can simply put it on Twitter or Facebook or Youtube, and it is there to be found. If it’s worthy, it goes viral, and soon you have the ear of the world at large.
But these channels that we use to be heard are not ours. They are owned by enormous and vastly valuable corporations whose existence is shaping the way in which the world itself operates. They can turn off the popularity of something with the click of a mouse. They can quell revolutions via algorithm. They are Orwell’s most prescient nightmare come to life.
And they are now suspending sitting US Senators from their platforms.
YouTube suspended Sen. Rand Paul’s account on Tuesday for posting a video claiming cloth face masks are ineffective against the coronavirus.
The Bluegrass State Republican was quick to respond.
“A badge of honor … leftwing cretins at Youtube banning me for 7 days for a video that quotes 2 peer reviewed articles saying cloth masks don’t work,” Paul, R-Ky., tweeted.
But this begs the question: If what Rand Paul said was “dangerous”, as YouTube clearly believes , then why would they want to scrub it from Paul’s public record? The whole concept of free speech is that we can hear the truth about what our politicians believe before we decide on who to vote for.
In this regard, those who would have voted against Rand Paul based on this verboten mask dialogue could be making a less-than-fully-informed decision in coming elections.
Ergo, by removing Rand’s alleged misinformation, YouTube is actually protecting the Senator from the criticism that his statements would have brought him.
Furthermore, if these statements were bad enough for some left-wing PAC to seize upon and republish in an attack ad, would that ad be subject to the same suspension?
This is the knife’s edge that the First Amendment balances on, and Americans will need to keep a keen eye on liberty during this information revolution.
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