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"YouTube’s hate speech hits modeling & tabletop gamers" Topic

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Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 9:39 a.m. PST

"Based on YouTube's previous decisions around historical content, it appears that simply mentioning historical events or groups is now increasingly likely to be seen as "hateful" by YouTube and put videos at risk of removal."


Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 10:19 a.m. PST

This is scary stuff.

Whatever happened to allowing people to think and decide for themselves what they want to see/hear/say?

Of course, the answer is that an increasing number of self-styled elites in tele-communications/internet (not to mention politics) have decided for themselves what they want people to see/hear/say.

Remember, friends, they're smarter than you are.


Garand10 Sep 2019 10:32 a.m. PST

I personally doubt this is some sort of conspiracy from the media elites to control what we say or think. More likely this is a move from the media elites to protect their profit margins by ensuring the least offensive content is made available. Never ascribe to nefarious motivations something that can just be easily ascribed to profit protection.


Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 11:16 a.m. PST

No it is not profit: even if mostly from automats, it makes them spend efforts and money. It is a general offensive against free speech and all very well orientated. "They" realized this free internet gives people ideas and above all, horror, ability to search and find things that were not screened/ approved by the tenants of the media/established fellows. On the other end, as usual, you do have in parallel nasty people spreading real dangerous stuff and not everyone is right able to sort it out. But as usual who is controlling the controllers?
It also becomes ludicrous, where did I read infantry now risks being banned from fessebook as if sounds like something to do with infants?

Old Contemptible10 Sep 2019 11:37 a.m. PST

This is just wrong. Especially if you consider the horrible advertisements that they show which spread disinformation and lies. I don't see them going away because they are a source of revenue for YT.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 12:10 p.m. PST

Having read the entire article it sounds to me as though YouTube drafted a policy around prevention of the spreading of hate speech. AI probably flagged the speech due to its content in today's context as opposed to it's historical context. Finally the appeal went to some "jobsworth" who made a snap decision. While I find this hard to believe that it was a blatant attempt to block free speech, it is more probably a casualty of the attempt to prevent the spread of hate speech. I believe firmly in the first amendment of the US Constitution but hate speech should not be protected, end of story. The problem lies in the arbitration of what is hate speech and who enforces it. YouTube is in a minefield that our modern internet based society created.

surdu200510 Sep 2019 12:25 p.m. PST

George Orwell was just ahead of his time.

lloydthegamer Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 12:37 p.m. PST

Have to agree with Private Matter.

bjporter10 Sep 2019 1:28 p.m. PST

No, speech should not be censored. If you feel that certain speech is offensive, ignore it. Neither you nor the government have the right to restrict speech or ideas.

The concept that "Hate Speech" should not be allowed is counter to everything that the Founders believed in. We are at the point where Deleted by Moderator has labeled every type of speech or political point of view that does not align with them as "Hate Speech", etc….

Any concept of American patriotism or national sovereignty has been labeled as "White Nationalism".

Frankly if you think that limiting the rights of the people is a good thing You are the problem.

You have the right to say and think what you want, you don't have the right to limit anyone else's right to say or believe what they want.

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 1:58 p.m. PST

I wonder if the British would have labeled anything to do with freedom and opposition against their rule without representation, as hate speech and banned it if they had the internet back then? Ummmm may be a dumb question.

Anton Ryzbak10 Sep 2019 2:12 p.m. PST

Doug MSC,
The Brits called it Sedition, and it would get you hanged. Oddly enough if you repeat the exact same words that the Founding Fathers used on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram it will get banned! Better than being hung, I guess. The Brits would have probably banned the Internet for the Common Folk and just solved the problem that way

The problem with Orwell's 1984 is that instead of being seen as a warning it is being used as a game-plan by the "Liberals"

bjporter, I concur wholeheartedly!

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 2:43 p.m. PST

Is it illegal to actually "hate" something ????

TNE230010 Sep 2019 3:14 p.m. PST

The problem lies in the arbitration of what is hate speech and who enforces it.

and this is why even hate speech MUST be protected

simply define your opponents argument as hate speech
and BAM!
your opponents may no longer argue against you

another +1 to mr orwell

Dynaman878910 Sep 2019 3:50 p.m. PST

Nice to see all the owners of youtube here telling them how they have to run their business.

magical monstrous steve10 Sep 2019 4:12 p.m. PST

Meanwhile, Amazon music unlimited has the horst wessel lied available. Original nazi music is ok, contemporary American free speech isn't.

emckinney10 Sep 2019 4:23 p.m. PST

"No, speech should not be censored. If you feel that certain speech is offensive, ignore it. Neither you nor the government have the right to restrict speech or ideas."

YouTube isn't the government and isn't bound by the First Amendment.

If I publish a magazine, am I required to publish every opinion piece and letter that anyone sends in because I publish some opinion pieces and letters?

Are there problems with the policies of the Internet giants? Sure. But folks sure took the other side when they found out that Al Qaeda and Islamic State-linked accounts were spreading news, ideology, opinion, calls for jihad, anti-Semitism, etc.

Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander?

von Schwartz10 Sep 2019 4:46 p.m. PST

Newspeak! Orwell had it right. Well, the good news
is that shoelace production is up 10%.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 5:08 p.m. PST

Hate speech can kill, or have you all been ignoring the news lately.

The problem is more with the automation ability of language filters, not with the intent.


Skeets Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 5:11 p.m. PST

I agree with the idea that hate speech must be protected. If you disagree with someone's opionion rebut it if they are reasonable, if they are not, ignore them. I have always believed that the Constitution grants everyone the right to be stupid.

USAFpilot10 Sep 2019 6:19 p.m. PST

There is a civil war going on right now for the very soul of America. I took an oath to defend the United States Constitution which includes the Bill of Rights. Freedom of speech is one of this countries most sacred of traditions. As Voltaire said, I may not agree with what you are saying but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 7:25 p.m. PST

A lot of legitimate history you tube channels are being delisted or at least demonetized. This has been going on for some months now, and the net just keeps getting wider. YouTube claims it is going after certain speech, but even mentioning legitimate historical topics in neutral fashion is getting demonetized regardless of context.

Just mentioning nazis or fascists will get you demonetized. I've been watching a great set of videos on the interwar years and the creator talked about meeting with YouTube to discuss historical content and they still refused to monetize his videos, which are very well and truly historical and stress examining ‘the historical context of what leads up to the horrors of World War Two.'

It's crazy.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 7:30 p.m. PST

USAF pilot, Spot on !! There is a battle for the very soul of our nation.

Brian Smaller10 Sep 2019 7:35 p.m. PST

Not just your nation Old Glory – the entire free world. And there is not much left of it as it happens.

Zephyr110 Sep 2019 8:25 p.m. PST

If anybody wants to create a competitor to YouTube, now would be a good time… ;-)

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2019 1:27 a.m. PST

Not just USa, Europe is ahead of it. Pressure everywhere. The men of Davos have it, muzzling dissent. Our "war" gaming might be targeted sooner or later, as for some of us it leads to historical study, not the ones they want you too, and look abroad. Compare, even travel for heavens sake!

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2019 1:46 a.m. PST

I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I hear someone say it's the liberals trying to stifle free speech. It seems like the liberals have fought the most to defend the rights of all people not just the majority. The ACLU, who are considered lefty liberals by conservatives, have spent millions defending the free speech of all people, including some pretty repulsive folks. The defense of free speech is paramount to free people and like USAF Pilot I too took that oath and will also defend your right to free speech even though judging from his past posts he would classify me as a lefty-liberal. However, the example that started this thread is a business issue and not an attack on free speech by the government which the constitution is supposed to prevent.

The attempt to stifle free speech by a business (such as you-tube in this case) is generally around their attempt to protect their revenue streams by appeasing the loudest voices of their audience. This is not a constitutional issue, it is a commercial issue. This is fought by not using their products and/or services. Deny their revenue stream and their behavior changes.

redbanner414511 Sep 2019 3:55 a.m. PST

+1 Private Matter

Garand11 Sep 2019 4:44 a.m. PST

Also +1 Private Matter. Basically the point I was making.


Personal logo D6 Junkie Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2019 4:56 a.m. PST

Quit confusing Private Business rules with Federal rules people.

22ndFoot11 Sep 2019 6:38 a.m. PST

The Brits called it Sedition, and it would get you hanged. Oddly enough if you repeat the exact same words that the Founding Fathers used on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram it will get banned! Better than being hung, I guess. The Brits would have probably banned the Internet for the Common Folk and just solved the problem that way


Sedition would not get you hanged. In English law a statement was seditious if it brought into "hatred or contempt" either the sovereign or their heirs, the government and constitution, either House of Parliament, or the administration of justice; or if it incited people to attempt to change any matter of Church or state established by law (except by lawful means); or if it promoted discontent among or hostility between British subjects. The statement actually had to be printed and the penalty was a fine and/or imprisonment.

Just for the record, the United States called it sedition too. link The penalties were similar but the American act did, at least, allow truth as a defence.

FWIW, those who have pointed out that the issue the original post was about is not an unconstitutional restriction on speech are absolutely correct.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2019 7:32 a.m. PST

I you don't believe in freedom of speech you hate, you don't believe in freedom of speech.

In China the government censors and investigates based on keywords, so there are lots and lots of euphemisms. That's what we'll end up with. I guess we'll have to get used to saying things like "whoever was running Germany in 1940".

YouTube has a near monopoly on what it does, but nothing it does is complicated. One of these days people will move en masse to the next social video sharing site, and this may be the issue that drives it.

Dagwood11 Sep 2019 9:18 a.m. PST

Common sense says that there must always be a limit to free speech. The classic example is shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. People die. Similarly, hate speech. People die.

If there IS a civil war going on at the moment for the soul of the USA (which I doubt), one individual on one side is using freedom of speech to spout what seems to be an endless stream of lies and exaggerations, and no-one and nothing seems to be able to stop him …..

(If this counts as politics, I didn't start it !!)

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2019 9:34 a.m. PST

+1 Dagwood. I equate trying to determine what is Hate Speech to the on of the former US Supreme Court Justice's (I can't remember which) explanation of pornography: "I can't describe it but I know it when I see it."

Sundance11 Sep 2019 9:47 a.m. PST

It's on the sames lines as FB banning anything to do with Nazis because their minions aren't intelligent enough to distinguish hate speech from historical dialogue, but at the same time, they run ads for Hugo Boss. Hugo Boss personally designed the Allgemeine SS uniforms. So they're busy squashing any mention of Nazis, while running ads for a real Nazi.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2019 10:39 a.m. PST

There are a number of reasonable limits on free speech:

You can't incite a riot.

You can't plan criminal behavior.

You can't distribute someone else's copyrighted material.

You can't disclose trade secrets.

You can't slander/libel.

You can't threaten people's safety.

You can't disseminate classified material.

I'm missing a few, I think there are nine, but you can see these try to prevent immediate, specific material or personal harm to others. Your right to swing your fist stops where my nose starts. Your right to free speech stops where it costs me money or physically threatens me. You can insult me, make me uncomfortable or embarrassed, you can say true things that may hurt may business or social standing.

But what they're blocking is not immediate, specific material harm. They want to prevent the mention of ideas on the grounds that they may indirectly, someday, somehow, cause someone to do something. There is no immediacy, there is no specificity. This is not a matter of degree. This is qualitatively different.

I certainly hate the rhymes-with-Yahtzee ideology. But I think it's more dangerous when people are ignorant of it, more dangerous when it's in the shadows. Let people talk about rhymes-with-night-detestably. If these things have to compete in the free marketplace of ideas where people can talk about history where the hideous outcomes of these ideologies are clear they will shrivel and become a laughing stock. Suppressing it means you're afraid of it, you think it might get traction, might overwhelm good values. That is a weak, weak position. If you ignore the rhymes-with-trashists they are blathering fools. If you ban them you make them a resistance movement, give them a David-vs-Goliath vibe, give them the power to attract the alienated.

Obviously, if any of these creeps actually breaks a law you immediately lock them up, but for breaking the law, not for their ideas.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Sep 2019 11:35 a.m. PST

The calculated limitations to free speech are cultural in nature, not specifically an act of government--yet.

But where does government come from if not its culture? What becomes accepted in culture becomes part of government, most obviously in a democratic republic. When people vote for the person/party/philosophy that reflects their beliefs, those become the government.

Each small chip at the concept of free speech that becomes accepted is another step closer to regulated/permitted/
culturally approved speech.

You Tube, Google, etc, frame themselves as the Ministry of Truth. They are businesses of such power and pervasiveness they assume the right--nay, "Duty," they will say--of protecting us from words they selectively deem unacceptable. Our Elites know what is best for us and they will use their power to make us conform to their vision.

"Incitement" works both ways. Saying the words that incite violence and injustice is no greater a danger than inciting people to censor their thoughts to limit their own freedom.

We must all become the Hive. Speak alike, think alike, work together without disagreement

The Hive Is One.


GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Sep 2019 12:04 p.m. PST

Hang on TVAG – these media businesses are doing this because governments and pressure groups are telling them that they are not doing enough to keep 'this sort of thing' (define that how you will) off their sites.

Pretending that they started to do this off their own bat is fake news.

That they are doing it incompetently and inconsistently is obvious but to assume that there is some evil intent on their part isn't evident.

There may well be that intent in the pressure groups that have driven this to the front pages and law courts around the world but it is not the media initiating it.

Patrick R11 Sep 2019 12:05 p.m. PST

A huge amount of videos are posted on Youtube every minute.

Which means you get things like pirated content, scams, extreme religious and political content etc.

To manually sort them would not just require an army of people, but also to understand certain subjects, be able to read context and subtext …

I have clicked on "history" videos which turned out to be nothing but alt-right propaganda glorifying nazis. Even if you have an army of paid human beings say in India sifting through content, there is a good chance they just flag it as historical content as they don't quite understand the content.

Youtube needs to police the content, but to do so manually would be uneconomical, therefore they resort to algorithms which are getting better, but they still miss a ton of stuff.

And as happens with all such things, it's better to paint with a single broad brush and fix problems later than to spend a crazy amount of time, effort and money to anticipate every possible exception. So they set the filters high and fix those problems people petition.

You're free to disagree and set up your own video channel and try to figure out a way to give everyone a free and fair treatment, I bet nobody will complain about your policy, ever …

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2019 12:30 p.m. PST

for some reason this thread has gotten under my skin. I feel very strongly about defending our constitutional right although I don't always agree with some folks about how those rights are defined. But to me free speech is pretty clear. Years ago there used to be an FCC rule called the Fairness Doctrine that required broadcasters to give equal tie to opposing political viewpoints as the broadcasters were operating under government licenses. When cable started to take hold the airwave broadcasters started to complain that it didn't apply to cable broadcasters so President Reagan scrapped it. This opened up the airwaves to the likes of Fox News and MSNBC and their agenda driven talk/analyst shows (I separate the talk shows from the true news reporting as both have some good journalists working for them). So what is the difference between YouTube banning things it thinks may be offensive from Fox or MSNBC censoring content based upon its ideological standards? These are private organizations which most agree the government has no business interfering with, so what's different about YouTube? If you think about free speech as freedom of expression without government interference then social media companies (of which YouTube is one) can ban anything they want and if some group doesn't like it they can go start their own social media site. Personally I would like to see the return of the Fairness Doctrine as it gave a voice to opposing viewpoints that are drowned out by today's high pitched media (broadcast and social).

As for Hate Speech, to me its clear, if it is directly designed to promote violence or harm to a person or their property it is not protected speech. That is just common sense.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2019 12:49 p.m. PST

I am not surprised at anything those companies who prey on the Internet do. PatrickR seems to have the gist of how they operate.

Stryderg11 Sep 2019 1:46 p.m. PST

Unfortunately, it's not common sense. An anecdotal example:
While in basic training (so dealing with people from all over the USA), I referred to another soldier as "boy". He was greatly offended and could have deemed my statement as "hate speech" by today's standards (one of us had a higher melanin content in our skin).

Problem is, I'm from the south where every male is a boy until they die. Referring to a 70 year old man as a "good ole boy" is quite common. After his funeral, he would be referred to as "a good man". There was no hate in my intent and we discussed our cultural differences and moved on with our lives. But by today's standards, I would have had to undergo diversity training, public shaming and wrong-think re-education.

=== shifting gears ===
"We need to stop the violence!" = popular political speech and therefore does not need to be protected, it's popular.

"We need to lock up those dirty <insert favorite racial epithet>" = not popular political speech and therefore needs to be protected, even if it's "hateful". (and the person shouting it needs to be disagreed with and argued with until shown to not be a nice person).

=== and another gear shift ===
The problem with Youtube and the other internet giants is that they want to be a platform, so that they are not legally responsible for what others post on their site. But they also want to approve and disallow content so they can shift public opinion. To my mind, they shouldn't be able to have it both ways.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2019 10:51 a.m. PST

Technically, companies choosing to refuse certain speech is censorship- it's just not government censorship. The statement 'That's not censorship' is technically inaccurate. From a legal standpoint, you are correct, it is not government censorship. But the word censorship doesn't apply only to government applications.

One of the definitions of censorship is: "exclusion from consciousness"

So yes, when you say that what these companies are doing isn't legal censorship by the government, they are still choosing to censor certain speech on a private basis.

They have that right- within limits (and if you are saying there are no limits, then you are arguing that a any company can ban your speech simply because you are Jewish, or Black or Hispanic or any other host of reasons that we I think go into very dark territory.)

The Internet has taken over much of the role of the old broadcast networks, which are to this day strictly regulated in what they can and can'ts say, or broadcast. Why can't or shouldn't there be regulations or rules for companies that provide what is a digital public square?

If there are central rules, then they can be applied equally and fairly. The issue is that many of these companies, who are fully unaccountable to the public by any legal means, and often are monopolies or near monopolies, are making decisions based on whim, not reason, and do so by relative guidelines rather than objective ones.

Anton Ryzbak12 Sep 2019 11:48 a.m. PST

The digital public square would not exist except for the Government, it is built on a structure that was established at taxpayer expense, without that underlying structure it would not operate. So, yes, We the People (not the the inside the Beltway crowd, but the actual citizens of the nation) should have a say in how businesses make a profit from our largess. If they claim to be a "platform" and thus free from responsibility for the content they cannot censor anything. If they wish to "own" what is available then they are as responsible for their content as the drug manufacturers are for opioids . They have gotten away with eating their cake and having it too for far too long.

22nd Foot, you are right, I meant to say treason

Legion 414 Sep 2019 7:13 a.m. PST

George Orwell was just ahead of his time.

thumbs up

gold star

Aethelflaeda was framed14 Sep 2019 7:46 a.m. PST

Straw-men building here again, knee jerk responses to create false equivalence against progressives. You don't want censorship? It's right here on TMP address that.
———bearing the banner of banned in Boston and TMP Talk——

von Schwartz15 Sep 2019 5:23 p.m. PST

I have always believed that the Constitution grants everyone the right to be stupid.

Point made

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2019 12:09 p.m. PST

@von Schwartz: Point of order— the Constitution grants no rights whatsoever; rather, it recognizes that the rights are already in existence, and limits the power of government to restrict or remove those rights. It also admits that the existence of rights specifically enumerated in the Constitution is not exclusive, and that rights not specifically mentioned may well indeed exist and are equally protected from government action. It is up to each generation to determine what (if any) such rights exist.

And I disagree with those who claim that "Hate Speech" kills. No, it does not. The decision to act upon another's speech is entirely upon the individual. That doesn't mean that speech can't and isn't used to incite violent action— of course it is— but in fact, such speech is already explicitly prohibited in law (as incitement to riot, criminal conspiracy, threat to do harm, etc., etc.). The irony of the "hate speech" argument is that the definition is entirely too fluid, as is the action of it. These days it seems to be applied to even clearly objective discussions of points of policy or cultural disagreement. And, no, I don't trust any government to determine what is "hateful" and what is not, for that is the pathway to tyranny.

von Schwartz19 Sep 2019 4:59 p.m. PST

I stand corrected, it is The Bill of Rights that grants the freedom of speech or, as Skeets put it, the right to be stupid.

In response to your further comments, the truly frightening thing re: "Hate Speech" who is the final arbiter, who actually decides what is and what is not "Hate Speech". If we were to go back and actually educate our children instead of indoctrinating them, they would have the tools necessary to decide for themselves.

BTW, people need to go back and reread Orwell, before they burn it! By an oversight in my youth I read Fahrenheit 451 instead, also truly frightening. I just had the opportunity to read Orwell about 5 years ago, WOW!!!

Shoelace production is up 25%

Blutarski22 Sep 2019 8:45 a.m. PST

Allow me to refer you gentlemen to one obscure rock musician – namely Frank Zappa. Go here –

YouTube link

It will be but a short step from banning "Hate Speech" to issuing lengthy edicts caqrefully and painstakingly listing what sort of discouse, whether public or private, will be "permitted" ….. all for the sake of "not hurting anyone's sensitive feelings" of course.

If we fall for this scam, we will deserve everything we get.


Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2019 2:13 p.m. PST

@ von Schwartz: Again, point of order. "The Bill of Rights" is merely the name for the first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. They are as inherently part of the Constitution as everything which formed the bulk of the original document, or was amended to it later. And, again, they grant nothing; instead, they specifically recognize (and protect) rights which are inherent and common to all, whether written down or not.

And yes, Orwell is sadly prophetic. Too many people get hung up on the surveillance technology (which essentially now exists). The technology isn't the issue— the ceding of all power to government to control every aspect of life is the issue. It doesn't matter if we are right, left, capitalist, socialist, libertarian or politically apathetic— we cede power to government at our own peril.

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